Preview: A Silent Disco On Tower Bridge And Other Musical Highlights At London's Emerge Festival

on Thursday, September 26, 2019
Emerge Festival (Various venues across London, 27-28 September 2019) // Words: Saam Das

One wristband. Entry to multiple venues. Sound familiar? It's a model that's worked well for a whole host of UK music festivals such as The Great Escape and Dot To Dot, and the people behind Emerge Festival have decided to adapt and adopt the model across several of London's cultural attractions. There's still music but plenty more on offer across venues as diverse as The Cinema Museum and UK Parliament. We've collated some of the best musical bits of Emerge 2019 below.

Before we launch into our suggested music highlights of this weekend's Emerge Festival, we thought we should also point out a few of the other exciting events available. Friday night's activities include an immersive "House of Scandal" at Apsley House and a code-cracking adventure at Jewel Tour, while on Saturday, visitors to the Old Operating Theatre can take part in a life-size game of 'Operation' or head to a house party at Jimi Hendrix's old pad in Mayfair.


Poppy Ajudha (The Horniman, 19.20)

Jazz-inspired yet often electronically-led, Poppy Ajudha genre-bending efforts have seen her acclaimed by such diverse outlets as NME and Jazz FM. And former US President Barack Obama no less, who named Ajudha's collaboration with Tom Misch ('Disco Yes') as one of his favourite tracks of 2018. Definitely one to watch.

Ady Suleiman (The Horniman, 20.30)

Following Poppy Ajudha on the Horniman Bandstand, Ady Suleiman's headline slot feels well deserved. His talent was recognised long ago, penning a deal with Simon Cowell's Syco label a number of years ago. However, things didn't quite work out and his debut album only emerged in 2018, quickly followed up by a second album this year - clearly, an artist entering his stride.

Greentea Peng (Banqueting House, 22.00)

On a bill celebrating rebellion and curated by acclaimed London rapper Flohio, Greentea Peng feels like the stand-out. And not just for her amusing nom de plume - although we certainly agree that green tea is peng. Her striking take on soul has seen her celebrated by the likes of MusicWeek and Clash Magazine.


Silent Disco (Tower Bridge, 19.00-23.00)

"Discos aren't silent", we hear you cry from afar. Well, this one is. We're big fans of a solid silent disco and have already ticked off excellent efforts at Dot To Dot 2019 in Nottingham and Godiva Festival 2019 in Coventry. Emerge's silent disco will be extra special however, taking place in a high-level venue atop Tower Bridge. On a glass walkway, no less.

Ishmael Ensemble (Design Museum, 19.30)

Pete Cunningham's Bristolian collective offer a self-proclaimed cocktail of "Experimental Jazzwise Electronica". We envisage it's not the only cocktail that will be on offer at the Design Museum on Saturday, but it may well be the best. Be sure to take a look around the Museum also, which recently hosted an excellent exhibition on Stanley Kubrick.

Mina Rose (Nunnery Gallery, 20.15)

One of a new wave of BRIT School graduates including Black Midi and Loyle Carner, Mina Rose has been steadily making waves over the last couple of years. The rising starlet was a notable collaborator on trip-hop icon Tricky's 'Ununiform' album, and has been building her own momentum subsequently with singles like 'Run' and 'Lemons And Limes'.

Benin City (Nunnery Gallery, 21.15)

London trio Benin City (which also happens to be the capital of Edo State in Southern Nigeria) have been on our radar for a number of years since we caught them at the London Jazz Festival, and a prominent slot at Emerge 2019 seems befitting of their excellent live capabilities. Their diverse sounds encompass everything from dance to spoken word so expect the unexpected at East London's Nunnery Gallery.

Jungle DJ set (Natural History Museum, 21.30)

A DJ set by the London duo, Jungle (rather than a DJ set of jungle music, although there is undoubtedly crossover potential in this concept) is the centrepiece of the Saturday night activities at the Natural History Museum. Be warned that you need a special wristband on top of your Emerge one for this event however - available from outside the main entrance of the building from 6.30pm on the night itself.

Schedule subject to change. Find more info and buy tickets for Emerge Festival at

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