A new family music festival in the former Olympic Park, Open East has a great international music line-up which belies the cheap-as-chips ticket price.
Familiar names on Saturday night include epic Celtic rock group The Waterboys, while on Sunday the bill is topped by Jamaican toaster U-Roy, and Seun Kuti, the son of Afrobeat champion Fela Kuti, leading his father's band Egypt 80 and collaborating with New York hip hop duo Dead Prez. Mali Folie, also playing on Saturday, is an exciting Malian supergroup including blind desert blues couple Amadou And Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré (son of Ali) and Fatoumata Diawara, and other highlights across the weekend include Congolese funk band Jupiter And Okwess International and Colombian grooves by Ondatropica.
A stage hosted by the culture website Caught By The River hosts a range of leftfield art-rock artists including intelligent punk originals Wire, ex-Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, and rising Heavenly Records artists Stealing Sheep (blissful psychedelic folk, pictured, left) and Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs (riotous, clattering proto-punk).
Beside the music, there'll also be plenty of drum workshops, dance and rap performances by local youth companies, participatory performance art, an enormous iron man, a Cockney knees-up, bingo and maple dancing, performers and puppets from the National Theatre's War Horse, a food festival (and a local brewery exposition for grown-ups only), a biosphere, a floating cinema, a 'House of Fairy Tales', a story centre for children including a hip hop puppet adventure, markets (a design bazaar and an art car boot fair), and London-centric talks by speakers including musician Bob Stanley, historian Travis Elborough, Michael Smith and Tom Bolton. And if you don't think all of that is worth £9.50, you may need your head examined.
The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch
This Curtain Road venue is close in style and sentiment to its big sister, The Blues Kitchen over in Camden. Expect, then, a restaurant, bar and music venue with a hefty Stateside influence - from its bourbon and its barbecues all the way to its blues. Music does have a big part to play here. There's live artists pretty much every night of the week, with everything from rock 'n' roll to swing, motown, roots and even gospel complementing all that smokey blues. Keep an eye out for nights where food and music combine in happy harmony - think bargain ribs gnawed to a soundtrack of soul. An in-house barbecue, with meats smoked over fruit woods in their own fire pit, is kept busy - orders of beef brisket, smoked chicken, short beef ribs and burnt ends glazed with a beer and hickory barbecue sauce prove popular. Burgers, chilli, lobster, gumbo and a catfish jambalaya also feature.
Venue says: “'Free wing Fridays' between 5-7pm at the Blues Kitchen Shoreditch. Come down and get your wing on!”