King of the hill

Trying to escape the monarchy this year has been a nigh on impossible task what with the Oscar wins of film The King’s Speech and Wills and Kate getting hitched.

But ahead of the trend was Land of Kings, a London-based festival that was set up three years ago to promote upcoming musical and visually creative talent in the Dalston area.

Land of Kings branding by Colin Henderson
Land of Kings branding by Colin Henderson

This year’s festival, which will take place on 28-29 April, will take over a series of venues in the area, featuring some installations that have got us all excited. Last year, organisers created a ’dungeon of discoveries’ in a post-war bunker, and this year they will be creating a space on the theme of ‘Prince William Hill’ – a betting shop-cum-Royal wedding one presumes.

Land of Kings head of interactive and art Cleo Roberts says, ‘The premise is to get people talking. So often there’s so much creative going on and you’re so focused on your own work that you don’t realise there so many connections to be made.’

As part of the run-up to the festival, organisers have put on a series of talks, aptly named The King’s Speeches. If you’re keen to find out more about Nobrow Press, the publisher featured in this week’s Design Week Profile, then head along to The Print House in East London tonight. Next week author Ned Beauman will be speaking, as will architect Andreas Lang of Public Works.

Royal Dalston shot by Anomalous Visuals
Royal Dalston shot by Anomalous Visuals

As well as talking about their work, the speakers will be trying to understand why the big brands are looking east for inspiration. Interactive online shop Supermarket Sarah, who kicked off proceedings last night, has recently been commissioned to create one of her trademark walls in Selfridges, and brands such as Nike and Coke have all been keen to get a piece of the east London vibe, recently launching spaces in the area.

From the festival itself expect Union Jack-inspired exhibitions, an audio-visual DJing from Saam Farahmand (the director behind videos for Soulwax, Klaxons and Simian Mobile Disco) and Dalston music galore.

Land of Kings runs from 28-29 April at various locations in Dalston, London. More information can be found here.

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