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Brent is the London Borough of Culture for 2020 – here’s the tasty line-up

By Rosie Hewitson

Waltham Forest might have had the honour of being London’s first ever Borough of Culture in 2019, but next year it’s Brent’s turn to take centre stage. More than 20,000 people backed the north-western borough’s bid, and today it’s announced a thoroughly Brent-ertaining line-up of events throughout 2020.

The programme will launch in January with ‘Rise’, an open-air celebration in Wembley featuring a cast of 100 dancers and large-scale projections. July will see Kilburn High Road transformed into a mile-long street party in celebration of the music, migration and movements that once earned it the nickname ‘Music Mile’.

There’ll be more celebration of Brent’s contribution to music in October 2020, with a weekend-long takeover of Harlesden High Street. The No Bass Like Home weekender will feature performances from some of the borough’s many reggae and bass pioneers, including Don Letts, Big Zeeks and Janet Kay, plus emerging artists. Then, in November 2020, the Mobo Awards will return to Wembley’s SSE Arena for the first time since 2014.

The year of culture rounds off with the world premiere of a new play by author and Brent legend Zadie Smith. Inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s medieval ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’, ‘The Wife of Willesden’ will be staged at the Kiln Theatre in December 2020.

Launched in 2017 by Mayor Sadiq Khan, the Borough of Culture award is inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes, and offers the 32 boroughs that make up Greater London a chance to compete for funding to stage a year-long programme of cultural events.

Visit the Brent 2020 website to check out the full programme of events taking place in the borough next year and learn why we should all be bigging up north-weezy in 2020.

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