Events Walthamstow

South Asian music festival returns after huge debut

Dialled In festival has booked over 30 acts across five stages
By Victoria Munro

The first festival last year (credit: Kunal Lodhia)
The first festival last year (credit: Kunal Lodhia)

An electronic music festival that exclusively features South Asian artists is returning to Walthamstow after a hugely successful debut last year.

Dialled In festival is taking place at Uplands Business Park on 10th September, with a lineup of more than 30 DJs and performers across five stages.

The event last year was attended by more than 1,000 people and will be even bigger this year, with the festival taking over even more of the industrial space in Blackhorse Lane.

Co-founder Provhat Rahman said he and other promoters platforming South Asian music were approached to create the event by Waltham Forest Council, who provided links to local spaces and some of the funding.

He told the Echo: “A year before the festival, I do not think any of us would have thought it was a possibility but, around the start of 2021, the way South Asian artists were creating collectively really took off and that caught the attention of the council. They came in at the perfect time.

“It’s just a case of people catching on, the talent has been there but, for whatever reason, it’s never been given the platform it deserves.

“We don’t want [Dialled In] to seem like it’s trying to homogenise the South Asian community – even using that phrase is a tricky one because it’s so vast and diverse and there’s so much nuance.

“Ultimately, what we are trying to do is let people celebrate who they are individually in a collective way. It’s not the identity that’s collective but the celebration.”

(Credit: Kunal Lodhia)

DJs he is especially excited about this year include Cousins, Bobby Friction, Panjabi Hit Squad and Nino Brown, who is travelling all the way from Toronto to perform.

Among the live acts, “one of the more special bookings” is Lokkhi Terra, a band who reimagine Bangladeshi folk tunes in Afro-beat and Cuban rumba styles.

Provhat added: “Last year was really great. A lot of people, including ourselves, were experiencing that kind of space for the first time.

“We didn’t realise on the day because we were all so busy making sure things were working but the day after, looking through Twitter and Instagram, we could see it clearly resonated with a lot of people on a scale we hadn’t expected.”

Dialled In will take place on 10th September from 12pm to 10pm. Find out more and buy tickets here.