Social and Cultural Events
Under the Stars
Under the Stars is the popular annual musical festival hosted by the borough of Newham. This musical extravaganza usually takes place in Central Park in East Ham, where local residents and Londoners gather for four nights of music concerts and events. From reggae to rock, bhangra to classical, seventies soul to current hits, the festival can count on the collaboration of artists from all over the world, with a particular attention to diversity in genre and origin. Every night is themed and some of the most loved regular participants are the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with their live classical musical set, and the orchestra of the Every Child a Musician programme, which provides free musical instruments and free tuition to children in Years 5 to 7 in Newham.
Alongside the musical program, the council organises other events for the community, such as the carnival procession to which children from local school participate and contribute. This free even usually takes place in mid-August, and is the highlight of the council-run summer season in Newham.
2015 was a particularly special edition of the festival, as it marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of the borough. Events celebrating the story and the future of the borough were key features, from displays of historic images of the borough and plans for its future regeneration, to the carnival procession - where children had the opportunity to showcase their own interpretation of the borough and its history. Moreover, the council organised a pop up beach and sports taster sessions and held a grand finale with fireworks to the music of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor John Rigby and accompanied by soprano Deborah Norman and tenor John Pierce. Reflecting on the 2015 festival, the Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said:
“I always look forward to Under the Stars and I am very proud that we are able to bring such world class entertainment to residents free of charge. This year’s event did not disappoint and it was great to meet so many people, young and old, from so many different backgrounds.”
Under the Stars has been one of the ways the borough celebrates the pasts, appreciates the present and provides hope for the future, and it is getting more popular with each year.