Fifth annual Stow Festival is biggest yet

This is Cleo at Stow Fest 2014

This is Cleo performs at last year’s Stow Festival. Credit: Pamela Hutchinson.

Reporter James Wood previews the 2015 Stow Festival

Nearly five years ago a few friends got together to discuss how best to harness Walthamstow’s thriving music scene and decided the town needed an event to showcase its talent.

This is how Stow Festival was born.

Taking place over a long weekend in September, the first event in 2011 featured 35 acts performing over four days at various venues in Walthamstow. In 2015, the number of performers has trebled – to more than 100.

Nick Bason, who is part of the management team for the event, said: “The festival has really found a place in the heart of the community in Walthamstow. Stow has something for everyone, and every event is different.

This year we have an original electro composition at the William Morris Gallery called Arsenic Mines and a range of world music with Walthamstow Acoustic Massive in the town square.

At Ye Olde Rose and Crown and the Wild Card Brewery we have some bigger acts such as Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, Attila the Stockbroker, Sisteray and Cherry White.

We also have singer/songwriters, jazz, metal, hip-hop… anything you fancy.”

As well as a vast range of performances, this year’s Stow Festival will feature a walking tour which will take in the musical history of Walthamstow. Former Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam will give a talk at Waterstones, while musical workshops will be run by Waltham Forest Community Choir and Forest Philharmonic Orchestra.

Stow Festival’s founder, Emma Betts, will manage proceedings with help from Nick, DJ Kat Richmond, and Julian Marzsalek, guitarist in The November Five who are on the line-up.

Whatever your musical taste,” said Nick, “great music and a wonderful atmosphere make Stow Festival the place to be in September.”

Stow Festival 2015 takes place on 17, 18, 19 and 20th September, visit to find out more.