International artists headlining Southend City festival

July 15, 2022

Southend City Festival is a brand new music festival taking place at a hangar at London Southend Airport on 2-4 September.

The festival will celebrate Southend’s new City status, conferred in memory of Sir David Amess MP, who was tragically murdered in 2021.

Fabio & Grooverider will join The Outlook Orchestra to present a special score celebrating a history of jungle and drum & bass.

Africa Express, co-founded by Damon Albarn, Martha Wainwright and Fatboy Slim, will perform a unique collaboration.

The Music Man Project is an international music education service for children and adults with learning disabilities that was closely supported by Sir David Amess MP.

Fabio & Grooverider and the Outlook Orchestra, Africa Express, and The Music Man Project have been confirmed as the headline acts for Southend City Festival - a brand new music festival to take place in a hangar at London Southend Airport on 2-4 September.

Headline partners DP World, London Southend Airport and Southend-on-Sea City Council are backing the Southend City Festival– which is being arranged to celebrate Southend’s new City status. That City status was conferred in memory of Sir David Amess MP, who was tragically murdered in 2021.

The festival will showcase high-profile international artists and outstanding cultural activity from the local community. Spearheading and curating the festival line-up is Southend musician Sam Duckworth who performs as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Sam has been instrumental in assembling the artists for the festival with help from the Leigh Folk Festival and Village Green, alongside organisers of national festivals.

Sam said: “This is a dream come true event for me, as a music fan and resident of Southend. To be part of a team working to bring some of the best artists in the world to Southend fills me with pride. Africa Express is the best show I’ve ever been to, completely unique and breathtaking, inspiring and joyous, the perfect fit. Fabio and Grooverider with an orchestra is special, your favourite drum and bass tunes reimagined with an orchestra. To me The Music Man Project are Southend’s band and no special event in this City would be right without them. ”

Ernst Schulze, Chief Executive Officer of DP World UK, said “At DP World, we focus on making a positive economic and societal impact wherever we work. This outstanding cultural celebration will boost the local community in our nation’s newest city, attracting international artists and showcasing local talent. We are delighted to be supporting it.”

Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of London Southend Airport said “We are truly excited to host a festival for Southend. It will bring people together from across the area to celebrate Southend’s city status and experience music from internationally renowned artists. We are well placed to act as the venue for this event given the size of our airport hangar, our frequent trains from London, own train station within 100 paces of the airport and 1,200 car parking spaces, and have a lot of experience welcoming and coordinating the arrival of large volumes of people. We are working with some incredible, experienced partners and are delighted to be playing our part in putting our vibrant City on the festival map.”

Cllr Carole Mulroney, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism at Southend-on-Sea City Council, said “I believe this is the greatest show we could hope for the city of Southend, and it would not be possible without the commercial and public sector working together to make it happen.

“This will leave a lasting legacy as we will rise to the challenge of hosting an event of this size and stature for a city. It will be a huge boost for the local economy and signifies how we want to get things done in our new City – together in partnership and for this festival – together in sound.”

Tickets go on sale from today costing £20 for Friday and Saturday and £10 for Sunday, with tickets available from

About the headline acts

Africa Express

Hailed as the most revolutionary force in popular music for two decades, Africa Express brings together musicians from different cultures, genres and generations to break boundaries and offer a new perspective on Africa and its music. Each event is unique, based upon on-the-spot collaboration and filled with unique moments of magic.

It was founded in 2006 with a trip to Mali linking the likes of co-founder Damon Albarn, Martha Wainwright and Fatboy Slim with local stars such as Toumani Diabaté, Bassekou Kouyaté and Amadou & Mariam. Then came the first public event: a legendary five-hour show at Glastonbury described by The Times as “an absolute lose-yourself epiphany for everyone who was there”.

Africa Express has since hosted trips to Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Africa and Mali. It has also staged lauded shows in Lagos, London and Liverpool, as well as festivals across Europe such as Roskilde in Denmark and bespoke shows before 25,000 people in Paris city centre and 50,000 on a Spanish beach. Each performance is unique, with artists taking part creating the set before the show, and all have been met with rave reviews, inspiring artists and audiences alike.

Fabio & Grooverider

Godfather’s of the scene Fabio & Grooverider will join The Outlook Orchestra to present a special score celebrating a history of jungle and drum & bass, featuring some of the scene’s most iconic and well-loved tracks. Arguably one of the most legendary partnerships in music, Fabio & Grooverider remain at the forefront of a scene they helped build, championing the now global sounds of jungle, drum & bass and beyond.

There are many that will attest to the influence Fabio & Grooverider have had on the scene, and few that could present a history of jungle and drum & bass in this way. Since its formation in 2017, Outlook Festival’s ‘Outlook Orchestra’ has grown to be a force in it’s own right, collaborating with champions of sound system culture from across the globe and striving to drive the scene forward in new and exciting ways. Working closely with contributors such as David Rodigan and Mala, the Orchestra has presented unforgettable performances of timeless classics, in a way you’ve never heard before. Led by BASCA award-winning composer Tommy Evans, the Outlook Orchestra features world-renowned musicians and artists such as Congo Natty, Loyle Carner, Newham Generals, Dawn Penn, Pharoahe Monch and many more.

Music Man Project

The Music Man Project is an international music education service for children and adults with learning disabilities, providing accessible music tuition leading to inspirational performances. Run by volunteers, the charity gives grants for accessible arts education, promotes equal access to performance, carries out research and raises awareness of the achievements of disadvantaged people in the arts.

The Music Man Project was founded by Churchill Fellow, David Stanley BEM, to meet a growing demand from parents for regular and accessible musical opportunities for their children. The project nurtures innate musicality, delivering education, enjoyment and performances through the teaching of original music at special schools, colleges, care homes, weekly music schools and daily adult classes in the community. It offers the same opportunities enjoyed by aspiring mainstream musicians by providing the best tuition, instruments, musical repertoire and performance platforms available.

The Music Man Project operates across the UK, and has reached South Africa, India, Nepal, the Philippines and America. It supports schools, the Salvation Army, local Mencap societies, Music Education Hubs and individuals in fulfilment of its objective to establish a Music Man Project in every county in England, in every country in the UK and in every continent in the world.


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