BlackFest Present: Winterfest
Piercing through the noise of awkward office Christmas parties and tacky festive markets, Liverpool’s grassroots Black arts organisation, BlackFest, are ending the year with a more meaningful occasion. On Saturday 18th December, BlackFest will host a night of live music in memory of Naomi Loy, a valued member of the local community who passed away from Sickle Cell disease earlier this year.
The event, Winterfest, will be a ‘white party’ and winter celebration, featuring a white dress code and live performances from local musicians, offering their voices and music in support of the cause. Winterfest aims to raise awareness and money for Sickle Cell disease in the local community and nationally, helping to fund medical research to avoid future catastrophes. In collaboration with Naomi’s family and District, profits from the event will be donated to The Sickle Cell Society, a national Sickle Cell charity, and to the Haemoglobin Unit at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
The event will be headlined by AMIQUE & THE ECSTASY and include performances from neo-jazz sorceress NI MAXINE, attitude infused RnB groover and world creator IAMKYAMI, and the harmonious Wavertree Gospel Choir. REMEÉ will deliver her grunge infused electronic music, while SHAK OMAR promises his smooth RnB melodies, contributing to the evening’s sonic theme of soothing sounds and chilled grooves. The evening’s musical offering will be punctuated by TYRONE LEWIS, UK Poetry Slam Champion 2020, former Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion and author of poetry collection Blackish.
There will also be food from Caribbean restaurant and L8 institution Rayrayz and prizes on offer including afternoon teas and bespoke confectionary from local businesses.
In the UK, Sickle Cell disease is more prominent among people of African and Caribbean backgrounds. A simple blood test will indicate whether you are a carrier. Although these blood tests are routinely administered during pregnancy and after birth, individuals can ask for a test at any time. As BlackFest works predominantly with the Black African and Caribbean communities, the organisation is committed to raising awareness of the disease to make change and save lives.
Winterfest is a celebration and a commemoration; an opportunity to dance our way to the end of the year and into a brighter future.