Brockley MAX 2010 - coming sooner than you think

The 9th Annual Brockley MAX arts festival starts on Friday, May 28th and runs until Saturday, June 5th.

The festival has, over the years, helped to define Brockley life, giving a platform to the wealth of talented performers and artists living locally and providing local people with hours of free entertainment on their doorstep.

The posters and flyers have begun to appear across the neighbourhood, but organiser Moira Tait says that the biggest-ever MAX may catch some people unawares:

People associate the Brockley MAX with sunny days and warm evenings and we haven't had many of them yet this year, so when I tell people that the MAX is less than two weeks away, it takes them by surprise. The summer finally seems to be with us now - let's hope it lasts throughout the festival, because this is set to be the biggest yet.

There will be more events than ever before, with more venues from across the whole area, including Ladywell and Crofton Park, which has four taking part.

The tentpole events that the MAX is most famous for are returning, including an opening night between the new-look Brockley Station and the Brockley Barge, who are, for the first time ever, providing a green room for the performers! The closing night, up by the stone circle in Hilly Fields will also be back with a programme of events on the open air stage during the day, before the action moves inside the Marquee during the night.

But throughout the eight days of the festival, there's loads of great stuff that I'm personally looking forward to seeing, including the wonderful jazz singer Andrea Mann at the Wickham Arms and a special guided walk of the Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, which will tell the stories of the artists buried there, both taking place on May 29th.

This year's festival is more varied than last's. On May 31st we have on the one hand sonnets from Shakespeare at the Brockley Barge and on the other hand, a Brazilian dance workshop at the Brockley Jack Theatre. It just goes to show how eclectic the festival is.

Other highlights include the Congolese Masterclass at the Brockley Jack on June 1st and the Torch Song Blow Out at Jam Circus on June 4th. We are also celebrating the return of local film night Brockleywood Nights, who'll be screening some local short films in the stone circle on June 4th, which should be pretty special.

I also want to pay a big thank you to our sponsors, who've made this year's event possible: Jam Circus, the Brockley Barge and the Wickham Arms. And of course, to Gill Fraser, who's become an indispensible part of the festival, helping to organise every part of it.

Brockley Central is hosting a night of live music at the Ladywell Tavern on June 3rd. More details very soon.