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You Belong Here at the Southbank Centre this Summer

By Sophia Shade

This summer, the Southbank Centre’s summer programme ‘You Belong Here’ provides an array of free and ticketed events that share a powerful message of welcome and inclusivity at their core.

The public programme provides a wide range of concerts and workshops from ground-breaking charities and collectives.

On August 9, Counterpoints Arts: Our HeartBeats pairs established and emerging DJs with a group of young refugees perfecting their DJing skills for a day, celebrating music, community, and dancing.

They aim to welcome a range of different audiences to immerse themselves while broadening their musical horizons. Fusing neo-soul, reggaeton, and Afrobeats, Paris-born DJ Kensaye is working in collaboration with this project, who has a wide catalogue of music, as well as composing music for cinema and TV.

Rooftop events at the Southbank Centre Terrace (Picture: Southbank Centre)

The summer of music continues across August, with Sister Midnights Terrace Takeover on for the first four Thursdays. Bringing the terrace alive with the sounds of Southeast London, the breadth and diversity of talent making up the area will be celebrated.

Over the last 33 years, Tomorrow’s Warriors’ free Young Artists’ Development Programme has changed the musical landscape of the UK, as they have supported and nurtured the talents of a host of award-winning artists including 2023 Mercury Prize-winners Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Cassie Kinoshi and Nérija, and more.

They return to the Southbank Centre on August 11, for their summer showcase, featuring the next generation of jazz musicians taking London’s music scene by storm.

The glitzy world of Bollywood comes to life in the Royal Festival Hall with Frankie Goes to Bollywood between June 31 and August 18, a dazzling new musical drawing on real stories of British women from the creators of Britain’s Got Bhangra.

Booker Prize winner Elif Shafak (Picture: Zeynel Abidin)

The play deals with themes of inner turmoil and staying true to your identity, all plastered against a backdrop of ornate costumes and extravagant sets, so get ready to get swept off your feet by this tale of being British in Bollywood.  

Tickets are limited given this is a paid event, make sure to book early to secure your place.

For those more interested in exhibitions, the Hayward Gallery presents a plethora of them this summer.

From July 3 until September 14, After the End of History: British Working Class Photography 1989-2024, explores the hidden images from working class artists, depicting life through their lenses.

Frankie Goes to Bollywood will run from June 31 to August 18 (Picture: Frankie Goes to Bollywood)

Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood will run until September 29, featuring the work of more than 60 modern and contemporary artists. This major group exhibition explores the diverse experience of motherhood across three themes; creation, maintenance, and loss.

The Summer Literature and Spoken Word season continues with exclusive book launches and author readings. Booker Prize winner Elif Shafak, author of the acclaimed, ‘The Island of Missing Trees’ returns to present her new novel, There Are Rivers in the Sky, on August 8.

Then on August 30, Matt Haig, author of ‘The Midnight Library’ will return to discuss his new novel, The Life Impossible in an official London launch.

You can find the full list of events going on this summer at the Southbank Centre’s website:

Pictured top: Refugee Week at Southbank Centre, coordinated by Counterpoints Arts (Picture: Marcia Chandra)

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