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Somewhere you should go… The London International Ska Festival

ska international festival

Organiser Sean Flowerdrew might just be realising his dream – making The London International Ska Festival an annual affair. Now in its 3rd year and picking up momentum as it goes, the event has outgrown its Clapham venue and moved to pastures new, north of the river, perfectly filling the gapping hole the 23 year hiatus of the music has left behind.

Like the past two years, there are a huge variety of acts playing, most notably Neville Staple of The Specials fame (pictured). There’s also Jamaican Reggae trio  The Pioneers, Dandy Livingstone (the writer and original performer of A Message to You, Rudy) as well as DJ sets from Dreadzone Sound System and Gaz Mayall, resident head honcho at Gaz’s Rockin Blues club night in the capital. The Ska punk era is certainly having a mini revival of late, perhaps as a result of Shane Meadow’s This is England drama (in all its forms)? Or maybe it’s just because there is nothing quite like a good old skank to Ska and 2 Tone?

Whatever the reason, its a great opportunity to dust off the braces, Doc Martins and Ben Shermans and head to Islington Assembly Hall for 2012’s instalment of this 4 day music shindig. The egalitarian organisers have taken the past year’s suggestions into account and made the festival even more affordable, which means the economic downturn won’t keep you away. Now that’s the kind of party we like and one we hope returns every year. (Words: Laura Thornley)

The London International Ska Festival takes place from March 3-6th. For more info, visit

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