East London Food & Culture

Everything you need to know about Shake The High Road Festival

Leytonstone's annual celebration of local music returns with over 20 live artists and DJs

You might have seen that Leytonstone’s all-day music and arts festival returns on Saturday 4th May, 2024. Yep, following its pre-Covid success from 2017-19, Shake The High Road is back for its biggest edition yet, thanks to the support of both the Council and long-running E11 property agents Trading Places (find out more below why they got involved).

This year the line-up boasts 20+ live artists and DJs spanning a multitude of genres, as well as a series of special talks and interviews, scheduled all day and into the night across six Leytonstone venues within a few minutes walk from each other. One ticket gets you first-come, first-served access to all events.

The Birds
The Birds hosts Fiesta No Siesta. Photo: SE

Some history? Founded in 2017 by local music agent Simon Singleton, who has programmed stages at major festivals including All Points East, Bestival and Lovebox, its inaugural edition included the likes of Bullion, Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Mystery Jets (DJ), Raf Rundell (The 2 Bears), Snapped Ankles, Westerman, and Woman’s Hour. It returned in 2018 and 2019 with artists including snooker-star-turned-DJ legend Steve Davis, Black Peaches, Peaking Lights, and Jack Cooper.

“I’m absolutely buzzing to be bringing Shake The High Road back to my local area,” he says. “With a wonderful mix of amazing live acts, DJs, and guest talks, I know there will be many magical moments for everyone to enjoy: it’s always a buzz around Leytonstone High Road on the day.”


St John
St John’s in the summer. Photo: SE

St John’s Leytonstone – how many of you have never been inside? – has joined the line-up for 2024, which also includes previously featured faves including much-revered local hidden gem Leytonstone Ex-Serviceman’s Social Club, The Red Lion’s club room aka The Lion’s Den, and iconic two-floor venue Luna. Good Shepherd Studios will host a pre-party in the days leading up to the festival, while The Birds are in on it too, hosting their Fiesta No Siesta all afternoon.

Luna Lounge E11
Iconic E11 venue: Luna. Photo:  SE


The line-up so far includes Nathan Fake, Daudi Matsiko, Deptford Northern Soul Club, Donna Thompson, Wrongtom meets The Ragga Twins, Alena Arpels, Minor Conflict, Vanity Fairy, Walthamstow Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Club, plus more more to be announced in the coming weeks. And Luna will host a stage showcasing Waltham Forest musicians. Latest to join the bill is Ethan P Flynn, who released one of last year’s finest albums ‘Abandon All Hope’.

Local partner-hosted stages are from Dreamhouse Records, Walthamstow Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Club, Uplands, Underdog, plus a stage of Waltham Forest-based artists.


For those wanting to party until late, the festival schedule offers two night-time segments featuring live acts and DJs slinging good vibes in The Disco Basement at Luna, while The Underdog Stage at the Lion’s Den presents a bass-heavy sound system.


Good Shepherd Studios
Good Shepherd Studios and Back To Ours cafe, Photo; SE

For those who fancy a pre-party party in the days leading up to the festival, there’s a launch event at Good Shepherd Studios with local producer/DJ Wrongtom presenting a deep dive into Waltham Forest’s dub and reggae scene, showcasing the influences that led towards Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’ album, which was recorded in the borough. This is free for all ticket holders and will feature special guest speakers, to be announced soon.

There’s also an early warm-up event at Dreamhouse Records on Francis Road on Thursday April 4th from 6pm.

Shake The High Road Festival takes place on Saturday May 4th at 1pm and runs till the early hours. Tickets start at £20 here with an option to purchase a pay-it-forward ticket for local residents who would not be able to attend the festival otherwise. Follow @shakethehighroad

Q&A: Jennifer Butler from Trading Places

Trading Places
Jennifer and her partner Gary run Trading Places. Photo: TP

We caught up with one half of Trading Places’s husband-and-wife team Jennifer Butler to find out more about their involvement in the festival.

Why were you keen to be a part of it? “In the past any music event has been a success, so when Simon approached us we agreed straight away. For us it’s so important to be involved in the community in that way. We love sponsoring local events, whether it’s the art trail or something at a local school.”

Ex-Serviceman's Club
Ex-Serviceman’s Club Leytonstone. Photo: SE

What venue are you most excited about? “We have enjoyed all the venues over the years. Luna is the original grassroots musical venue. The Ex-Serviceman’s Club (pictured above) is somewhere that is sometimes overlooked, and it has a personal connection for me as my family were members, including my great aunt and my great uncle. It has a function room and hosts live music events. We haven’t got many of those places left.”

What are your hopes for the festival? “It’s so nice to have it in Leytonstone because I just think we’re  a bit underappreciated. And hopefully we can have an annual festival again in E11.”

If you want advice on selling or renting in the area, speak to Jennifer or Gary on  020 8558 1147 at Trading Places, 46 Church Lane, Leytonstone, London E11 1HE, or head to their website for more info.

This is a sponsored advertorial with Trading Places, who are supporting Shake The High Road. If you’re a north or east London business who wants to reach thousands of local readers please email info@leytonstoner.london

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