Newham Unlocked Festival -10 September -17 October 2021

Newham Unlocked

Newham Council will deliver an exciting programme of free performances, and workshops as Newham Unlocked - a five-week festival of arts, performance visual delights.

With the theme of unity, the festival shows Newham coming together as we emerge, and begin to recover, from the pandemic and lockdown.

In partnership with Applecart Arts,, Rosetta Arts and Theatre Royal Stratford East, the festival will see a range of different events, with something for everyone, of all ages and backgrounds, in all parts of the borough. 

Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said:  “Right across our borough talented creative people are making things happen.

“Newham Unlocked has come at exactly the right time as we  gently move out of the pandemic and have a chance to celebrate the vibrant inclusive culture and talent that is so central to Newham’s identity.

“I’d encourage you to see what is on offer from live performance, magical light installations, and events across our public spaces and arts venues. From food, children’s activities learning new skills and a search for the next Newham based talent, it’s happening. You can celebrate the range of activities in a broad and exciting schedule  - so do check out what’s on offer and book on some events!”

The programme kicks off on 10 September with Healing Together, an outdoor performance and immersive installation arts festival in Royal Victoria Gardens.

Other events include Fun Palace in Theatre Square at Stratford, an event for the whole family with lots of outdoor arts and crafts activities for children to participate by making, playing and learning,  a community festival in Queen’s Market, Autumn Glow, an illuminated art performance in Kingsford Square and a lantern procession in Stratford Park which will culminate in an music performance in the park. These are only a taste of what will be on offer.  Full details of the Festival and how you can get involved can be found at

There are lots of opportunities for people to get involved in the run up to the Festival, including the chance to join a performance by Joseph Toonga  from Manor Park, auditioning for a talent contest and appearing in films that will be screened throughout the Festival.

To produce the Newham Unlocked Festival, Newham Council has partnered with:

  • Applecart Arts, who works with emerging artists to create community engagement through excellence in the performing and visual arts.
  •, one of the UK’s leading outdoor arts producing organisations. Throughout the year, it delivers an ambitious programme of festivals, events and strategic projects.
  • Rosetta Arts, who offers innovative creative courses, opportunities, events and exhibitions to people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East, a producing theatre, built in 1884, in the heart of east London. They make theatre both for, and inspired by, the local community.

Councillor Charlene McLean Deputy Mayor (Statutory) and Cabinet Member for  Resident Engagement and Participation said:” Newham Unlocked is a much-needed boost to celebrate all that is best about the culture of Newham, our talent, our open spaces and arts venues. There so much going on in a programme of free events.  It’s also a chance to try your hand at something yourself and be involved in some magical experiences.”  

Newham Unlocked Festival runs from 10 September to 17 October.  Event information and booking at

Newham Unlocked Festival has an exciting range of events:

  • Healing Together, 10 September, 6-10.30pm and 11 September, 1-10.30pm, Royal Victoria Gardens – a two-day programme of street arts, performance, installation, dance and spectacle.
  • Art and Soul Fest, 17-26 September, 5-10pm, Plashet Park – a ten-day programme of music, drama, dance, puppetry, crafts, clowning and astronauts.
  • Lantern Parade, 7 October, 6-8pm, Stratford Park – a parade marching along to Baja Beats UK with performances from local artists.
  • Newham’s Talent Unlocked, 16 October, 12-8pm, Plaistow Park – a showcase of the very best of Newham talent; by the community, for the community.
  • Rathbone Roots, 9 October, 1-5pm, Rathbone Market – a programme of dance, featuring choreographer, Joseph Toonga, music and street art, plus an array of street food.
  • Mass Movement, 17 October, 10am-4pm, Queen’s Market – a dance performance in Queen’s Market; by the community, for the community.
  • Autumn Glow, 1 October, 7-9pm, Kingsford Square – an autumn celebration featuring giant illuminated creatures, shadow puppets, a 4m hourglass with projections and a chorus of oversized lips performing disco classics performance and street food.
  • Fun Palace, 2 October, 1-6pm, Gerry Raffles Square – an afternoon of fun activities of face painting, arts and crafts, storytelling, participatory activities, live entertainment and food and drink.

Published: 10 Sep 2021