Alchemy; your festival photos

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 15:23

Grey clouds on your morning commute will have given you a stark reminder that all good things must come to an end. Gone too soon are the good weather, the bank holiday weekend, and sadly, our own Alchemy.

Bank Holiday Monday sadly marked the final day of our annual festival showcasing the dynamic creativity and cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. For the past 11 days every Southbank Centre’s every corner has been enlivened with contemporary dance, performance, music and literature from international and British artists, not to mention the enticing smells drifting from the KERB South Asian street food market.

Throughout Alchemy we’ve watched people from across the country descend on Southbank Centre, and share their experience on the #AlchemySC hashtag. So what better way to showcase the vibrancy of this year’s festival, than to share the images of those who were here to experience it?


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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s foundation, the Karachi Literature Festival, took place outside of the country for the first time, descending on Alchemy on 20 May.


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Also making a first appearance in London, was Ravi Shankar’s opera Sukanya, a wonderful co-production between The Royal Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Curve, Leicester in association with Southbank Centre.


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Another classical highlight of this year’s Alchemy saw Abida Parveen, one of the finest Sufi vocalists of the modern era, take to our Royal Festival Hall stage.

Dance has always been a strong feature of Alchemy and this year’s festival saw performances across all corners of Southbank Centre, from the roof of Royal Festival Hall for Akademi’s Paradiso (above) to the shade beneath Hungerford bridge for Conditions of Carriage - The Jumping Project (below).


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Our East Midlands Mela events shone a spotlight on the art and culture of Leicester, where almost a third of residents identify themselves as South Asian, and included hands-on art workshops such as that run by Khush Kali.


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Contemporary music drew the crowds to our Clore Ballroom throughout the festival with visitors enjoying a wide variety of performances, from Pakistani singer songwriter Bilal Khan (above) to Asian Network’s Future Sounds hosting some of the hottest British Asian talent, such as B.Motion (below).


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And of course there was the food. KERB’s special Alchemy street food market was packed out every day as festival goers, tourists and office-workers all took advantage of the sunshine to enjoy everything from belting bhaji burgers (above) to cooling Indian-inspired ice-creams (below).


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For more photos and videos from Alchemy, and other Southbank Centre events, join us on Instagram

upcoming festivals

Alchemy may be over, but we've a host of other festivals coming up here at Southbank Centre this summer