On November the 7th, we are throwing a 12 hour party in London’s Tobacco Dock, celebrating the dead and the living, indulgence and debauchery, loud music, fine food and provocative debate, surrounded by beautiful art. You should come.
A celebration of Day of the Dead comes to life on a scale the UK has never seen before, with 2 main live music stages, plus an electronic Mextronica stage, all set in the vibrant setting of this most life affirming of festivities.
From melodic mashups of Mexico and the UK’s finest bands and DJs to a death café for discussing your own mortality over tea and cake, you’re going to want to get down here early to explore everything that’s going on.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND AT TOBACCO DOCK
Bands across the oceans The UK and Mexico’s finest rock, post-punk, cumbia and electro-indie bands coming together on our 2 main stages with The Horrors, Savages, Crystal Fighters, Zoe, Mexrrissey & Erick Rincon amongst many more.
Street food to die for Spend lunchtime grazing round our market street food stalls, offering favourites from the Wahaca and DF/Mexico kitchens and bars – Festivals don’t get much tastier.
Holy smoke Discover a hidden Mezcaloteca offering tastings and a chance to take home some of Oaxaca’s famous smoky elixir, that mysterious cousin to tequila, Mezcal.
Market style Our underground Mexican market will be offering artisanal crafts for your perusal, bringing a taste of San Juan market from Mexico City to East London
Masked crusaders Yep. There’s going to be Lucha Libre – Masked wrestling, Mexican style. Not just a chance to watch, but for the adventurous, a chance to take part too.
Wapping INK La Roma & Depftord’s finest ink artists tattooing LIVE to preserve this day forever and ever.
Top grub If you were lucky enough to grab one of 120 tickets to attend Enrique Olvera (Whose Mexico City restaurant Pujol, is currently sitting at no. 16th in The World’s Best Restaurants) & Thomasina Miers’ supper club at the festival, expect the finest contemporary Mexican experience. If you’ve missed out on a seat at the chefs table, fear not. Enrique will be cooking up some of his signature tacos from his own taco stall throughout the evening.
Let it SHRINE Day of the Dead is all about remembrance, and setting up a shrine (ofrenda) to your dearest departed with food, flowers, personal possessions and candles is common in Mexico, and at the festival, expect to find 2 stunning ofrendas by artist Betsabe Romero and the Mexican London community remembering those who have died fighting for free speech.
A feast for the eyes There’s going to be art too with the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibition “Dead: A celebration of mortality” showcasing work which comments on the inescapable subjects of death, decay and mortality; alongside live street art from of Mexican political muralists Lapiztola who will bring their own comment on death and life to the festival.
Provocative talks In between the music and margaritas, join English PEN to get a real insight into Mexico’s cultural and literary scene with speakers like Diego Luna, DBC Pierre and Thomasina Miers in conversation with Enrique Olvera.
Find your spiritual home at La Casa Loca From silly dancing to Elvis Corpsely to Musical Bingo and thumb wrestling to taco battles, this will be the room to let yourself go into the uknown.
Support free speech 10% from the sale of all food and drink at the festival, will be donated to Periodistas de a Pie, a charity helping Mexican journalists in danger fighting for freedom of speech. The more you eat, the more you’re helping this incredible cause.
At the heart of Wahaca’s Day of the Dead Festival is a lofty ambition, fuelled by an awareness of a perceived defect in much of UK society. It’s their belief that here, we live in an age that is repulsed by death, we fear the pain of remembrance and clad it in stiff ceremony and we don’t create enough opportunities to honour those who came before us.
We are becoming more and more obsessed with the future and detached from our past. Meanwhile in Latin American, and specifically, Mexican culture, death is celebrated as an occasion to remember and honour friends and family who have gone before us. Wahaca’s Day of the Dead festival is a chance to bring some of that vibrant celebration to life on the biggest scale the UK has ever seen. We’ll raise a glass to that.