Our Story


From its roots in one-off arts performances, the festival has grown year on year to become one of the most important events on the Lewisham youth calendar, with over 2000 young people annually performing to an audience of close to 4000.

In 2014/15 the festival grew significantly in artistic ambition. Building on the success of a music and dance collaboration in 2014, the 2015 festival included 42 young musicians and dancers jointly creating a music and dance work. This was performed at Laban Theatre, to great reviews, and was accompanied by high quality pieces from local schools and groups. The performance was unmissable and all the performers surpassed expectations due to mentoring from professional artists.

The festival celebrated its seventh year in 2016 and held eight performances over four weeks, in five different venues, all to great acclaim.

2017 & 2018 Festivals

With the support of organisations such as Arts Council England, The Foyle Foundation, Lewisham Councils Festivals Fund, Lewisham Homes, The Samuel Gardner Trust, waste management company SELCHP, Goldsmiths University and even local ventures such as Waitrose Greenwich we were able to raise our ambitions for the 2017 & 2018 festivals.

Under the banner Lewisham Live STEPS UP we:


  • Continued with our music and dance collaborations but also provided an opportunity for alumni from previous combined music and dance projects to become choreographers and composers. 

  • Built on our Live Composers project which supported young people in their creation of brand new musical compositions and having them heard in a professional venue. 

  • Showcased works, open rehearsals and industry discussions in the Tate Exchange space at the top of the Tate Modern Gallery. 

  • Saw the launch of new events incorporating spoken word and urban music, a collaboration between musicians and theatre makers, and a spellbinding hip-hop theatre performance by Love2Dance.

  • Expanded the core Lewisham Live team by recruiting a festival intern, and festival volunteer ambassadors. 

The Future

Plans are very much underway for the 2019 festival, and the festival is fortunate to have again received external funding from Arts Council England, The Foyle Foundation, Lewisham Councils Festival Fund, Greater London Authority, The D'oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Goldsmiths University and Tesco Bags of Help. 

Head to our festival listings page for all the events this season has to offer, and keep up-to-date on our plans in the news & updates page. 

Even though much of our funds for this years festival are secured that doesn’t mean the team will sit back. We are still actively looking for fundraising opportunities to help support the festival, and searching for ways to ensure these incredible opportunities remain accessible for as many young people and families as possible. Lewisham Live is only possible due to the dedicated support of our funders and partners, schools, local groups and the wealth of talented young performers. 

You can donate to Lewisham Live Festival by visiting our MyDonate page here 

Lewisham Live Festival adheres to all current child licencing, safeguarding and Body of Persons Approval legislation. The festival also adheres to new legislation regarding personal data collection and use.