Celebrating Dance from Africa and its Diaspora

Bloom National Festival

The Bloom National Festival explores and celebrates dance from Africa and its diaspora through performances, film, open workshops and discussions. The spirit behind the biennial festival is the desire to cultivate artists who are rooted, confident and flourishing wherever they find themselves in Britain – ‘blooming where they are planted’. With each festival we aim to give a glimpse of the African diaspora dance talent flourishing in communities nationwide.

The first festival was held in June 2009 at the Southbank Centre and attracted the support of almost 1000 people over two days of events. In addition to the talks, film and workshops open to the public, the festival featured a mixed bill performance showcasing UK-based artists.  With the success of the inaugural festival, through the years Bloom grew to chapters occurring nationwide within other conferences and festivals; drawing in new and larger audiences. Find out more about the featured artists and partners from our previous Bloom Festivals.


From June to August 2015, Bloom chapters unfolded across the country with tailored events in Liverpool, London, Bristol, Gateshead and Leeds. Working with regional partners, Bloom Festival 2015 included a series of performances and workshops at Africa Oyé in Liverpool, The Horniman Museum and Gardens in London, Dance Village at Bristol Harbour Festival, Africa Utopia Festival at the Southbank Centre and with Yorkshire Dance. The festival attracted 34,800 audience members, 745 participants and featured over 150 artists.

The artist line-up showcased the exciting diversity that exists in dance of Black origin and includes the legendary Namron OBE Esq., Freddie Opoku-Addaie, Canada’s Ghislaine Doté, Boy Blue Entertainment, Irie! Dance Theatre and Funmi Adewole. Ghislaine Doté’s participation in this year’s Bloom National Festival initiated phase one of the International Choreographic Exchange programme set to continue in the forthcoming years between DAD artists in the UK and Canada.

Find out more about some of the Bloom Chapters that happened throughout the country.

Bloom Festival 2015 Partners