SWAAF festival made it’s debut this year, and a successful one it was. The festival has a focus of fashion, specifically Streetwear and Athleisure which is very much influenced by and influences grime. So, it was only right to have some of the biggest names in the scene come down to perform on the night. The event took place over two days on the 15th and 16th September at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.
The venue had every entertainment aspect you could ask for, including a gaming area, a cinema,` a fashion show, art exhibitions and not to mention the performances later on the night. As well as this you could shop all the Streetwear you could ever wish for as twenty pop-up stalls filled the venue featuring brands such as Grime Originals, Lord of The Mics, Floor Sixx, Road 140 and Fekky’s Clothing range.
Upon entry, the first section of the event featured a street art exhibition which showcased work from artists including Gen Williams, Tom Fitch, Hamed Hazel and Uzo Oleh. As pictured below, Tom Fitch’s selection included huge canvas spray-paintings of two iconic figures in the game including Bugzy Malone and Giggs as well as a Connor McGregor painting.
The most stand out collection was by artist Gen Williams (Insta @GenWilliamsArt), who showcased her #KingsandQueens series, which is made up of pastel paintings based on grime’s live scene. Gen has spent all of her life in the centre of grime as she has grew up and remained in South London. The paintings document and celebrate a scene that has morphed from a wholly DIY, blood sweat ‘n’ tears endeavour to a mainstream phenomenon which has won the admiration and collaborations of global stars including Drake. The series currently features two pictures of the crowd at Giggs’ shows, one of Stormzy (in which he has expressed his admiration for multiple times) and Nadia Rose. The aim for Gen is to complete the series which will include twelve paintings including various grime artists including P Money and Kano which can be expected as full in an exhibition next year.
Artists including: Gen Williams (Kings and Queens) , Tom Fitch and Hamed.
Throughout the day, there was panel discussions centred around the influence of streetwear and trainers on today’s generation through social media and trends, as well as Fifa competitions and Viceland documentaries on a cinema style screen. There was also a fashion show which lasted around forty minutes and featured brands such as Finesser Clothing as well as many other small Streetwear brands.
The highlight of the day came from multiple intimate performances. From Grime Originals to The Hook Up and Six Figure Music, they all got the crowd hyped just in time for the headliner, Fekky to arrive. Performing Still Sittin’ Here, Bu Bu Bang and Avirex, he got fully emerged in the atmosphere as he spent half of his performance in the centre of the crowd hyping every single person there. Just the person to end the day on a high.
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