Last night over 250 people turned up to a secret gig next to the Barbican Centre in protest against the seemingly unjustified cancellation of last week’s Just Jam event at the venue. Despite receiving an email notification about the cancellation just an hour before the event was due to commence, hundreds showed up to the concert where UK MC Ghetts was due to perform material from his new album.
Organised by Fabien Riggall of Secret Cinema, the gig aimed to demonstrate the feelings of isolation and unfair discrimination young people can face as a result of cultural preferences. Arguing that young people deserve access to culture, Riggall went on to state that he believed the police and local authorities should be supporting the UK Grime scene and acknowledging its potential to help create a collective culture.
However, although the secret concert may have been organised with noble intentions, it was cut short (some reports from Twitter suggest it lasted just 15 minutes) after residents complained about the noise, meaning many who made the effort to attend would be within their right to feel a little short-changed.
Ghetts, the MC who performed at the event supported Riggall’s views, suggesting that while Grime’s subject matter can often contain elements of anarchy, this doesn’t mean it will automatically translate into violence of any kind.
Just Jam was cancelled on the grounds of public safety concerns following the Barbican’s dialogue with local police. No further explanation was given, though Grime artist JME (who was scheduled to perform at the event) tweeted that an apparent ‘major incident’ was planned to take place. As well as showcasing the best of the British Grime scene, Just Jam was also set to be live streamed and broadcast to millions worldwide; as of yet there have been no announcements on rescheduling the gig.
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