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Fantastic Rockaway Arts Weekend (RAW) 2023!


What a fantastic weekend we had 15th - 17th September with some amazing live music, film, art demos, workshops, children's activities, vegan food and tons of art! The whole weekend kicked off with a gig on Friday night featuring Los Dedos and The Hawkmen on our open-air stage, who both went down a storm. The Hawkmen also found time during the day to shoot their new video, which will be out soon. Meanwhile, below is a short video featuring just some of the weekend's highlights alongside one of Los Dedos's songs.

Rockaway opened its doors on Saturday morning and the place was buzzing for hours with happy people exploring everything in the different exhibition spaces and open studios. In fact, it was one of the busiest days we've seen for daytime visitors.

The queue for the Vegan Cafe was steadily out the door for most of the day and we ran out of hot food at 2pm, which led to a frantic burst of baking and cooking to catch up and provide another array of scrumptious dishes for visitors to enjoy. So, a round of applause for Marta and the Vegan Cafe team for their dedication!

It was wonderful as well to welcome so many new people to Rockaway who were blown away by what was on offer.

There was also a lot of interest in the Chapel of Unrest and we met people from all over the UK, including folks who had journeyed from Ireland especially for the weekend!

On Saturday night, it was a joy to welcome both Nick Harper and the return of the Commoners Choir, who performed rousing sets to create a magical night of powerful voices and beautiful harmonies.

Commoners Choir performed their new song about the Chapel of Unrest, which we filmed and recently shared with our Chapel members. It was an emotional moment that moved us all - we hope you enjoy it too.

On Sunday, we were joined by Crass members and artists, Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud, who were exhibiting work in the classroom over the weekend. Plus, film maker Brandon Spivey, who joined us for the world premiere of his new film - Crass: The Sound of Free Speech (The Story of Reality Asylum.)

(Photos by Sandra Van Watermeulen)

Raw, powerful, shocking and celebratory, the film was shown on our open-air stage, which we decided would be a great space to hold the screening to meet the demand for extra tickets. The Q&A that followed, hosted by Joe Schnider, was a real treat with the overall message being that everything Crass did was fuelled by love - what better note to end the weekend on?

A massive thank you to all the bands, performers, artists and makers who joined us to create an extra special event. Thanks also to the superb Rockaway crew who toiled like Trojans to make it happen!

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