February 2013, Ritzy, Brixton.
On the 28th February the first of a series of events called PeaceBeats took place at the Ritzy in Brixton. We were collaborating for the first time with Charis Cooper, who wanted to do an event aimed specifically at a younger audience.
Celebrate Life Events was happy to help, as the motive behind the idea was in sync with ours: to cross boundaries and bring communities together in the name of peace. This was the thread which linked the different genres of music, spoken word and film.
The event was run entirely by volunteers, and the artists shared their talents for free. 'It's not about money,' said Richard from the rap group B.E.V. London. 'People say money makes the world go round, but I don't think so. It's about being involved in something which has meaning. If we can make a difference through our music and our songs then that makes it worth it'.
This was the spirit of the evening. From the moment the lights went down and the first words appeared projected onto the wall: ‘be in sync with the drums of your heart’, the crowd gave their full support and focus to each fantastic act which followed.
Some highlights from the night included Neverland, a young local rap/hip-hop group whose amazing talent stunned the crowd, Adriano Adewale - Brazilian percussion artist, and a big name on the World music scene, the MayBirds an all female group who mixed sweet harmonies with gutsy vocals, and B.E.V London who concluded the evening with their rap music and brought the house down! All of this interspersed with creative graphics projected onto the wall.
‘Has this event changed your perspective on peace?’ audience members and performers were asked once the event was over. ‘Yes’ was the consistent answer. One young lady continued: 'I was unsure about the idea of a peace event - but when I saw the video which said peace is not about flowers, hippies and the peace sign, I realised that peace is something else, something inside and I want to find out more about that.’
People were also asked if such an evening could make a tangible difference - the answer was a resounding yes. ‘These events should happen across the UK’ the B.E.V Gang enthused – ‘let’s make Britain ‘Great Britain’!
Thanks to Nitesh Mistry for the photos.