The 32nd London International Ska Festival – Easter 2020

1 Posted by - 13th March 2020 - Features & Reviews, Gigs & Events, Our Gigs & Posters, Recommended, Top Picks by 3DJ, Top Picks by G-Kush

The London International Ska Festival returns for an unprecedented 32nd year to the capital this Easter (9th-12th April 2020).  Across 4 days and 16 events the festival showcases the genre from it’s birth in Jamaica and on through it’s evolution to rocksteady, reggae, dub, 2 Tone and beyond.  Sponsored by Trojan Records it is held at the O2 Academy Islington (both rooms) and the Dixie Queen and Dutch Master boats.

Highlights of this years festival include;

  • Easter Sundays Woman’s day with an all female line up headlined by Hollie Cook, Susan Cadogan (Hurt So Good) & Carroll Thompson-
  • Christopher Ellis paying tribute to his father Alton Ellis with special guest Dave Baker (of Dave & Ansel Collins)
  • Free entry to the gigs for kids between 8 & 17 (when accompanied by a ticket holding adult)
  • Our world exclusive valve sound system club night
  • Our world famous Dixie Queen paddle steamer cruise w/ The Pioneers- Jamaican toasting legend Big Youth headlining day 2
  • Our Reggae Chartbusters triple bill starring The Pioneers, Dennis Alcapone & Freddie Notes
  • Roddy Radiation from The Specials
  • Our Dub Boat cruise w/ Dennis Bovell, Don Letts, Wrongtom & Ragga Twins and more
And plenty more besides!  Here’s LISF2020’s full running order…

Day 1 – Thursday 9th April 2020

Alton Ellis tribute show
Starring Christopher Ellis, Dave Barker, King Zepha + DJs Gio One Stop & Paddy M (Pressure Drop)
O2 Academy Islington, London N1 0PS.  7pm-midnight

An Evening with Freddie Notes
An exclusive & intimate show from Freddie Notes telling an incredible life story that includes;  Little Richard, Ben E King, Muhammed Ali, James Brown, Dizzy Gillesepe, The Stones, Otis Redding, and at birth of ska, rocksteady & reggae and swinging 60’s London & more!
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  7pm-10pm (show starts 8pm sharp)

Hitsville JA club night
Celebrating the finest Jamaican soul music with world class DJs; Tiny T, Duke Neville, Dave Mack and Mark Professor
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  10pm-3am

Day 2 – Good Friday 19th April 2020

London Intl Ska Festival world famous Thames cruise
w/ The Pioneers, Jewels Vass (Pama Intl) and Tighten Up DJs.
London Intl Ska Festival world famous Thames cruise onboard the Dixie Queen paddle steamer this year stars The Pioneers (Long Shot Kick De Bucket, Let Your Yeah Be Yeah) & guests.
Dixie Queen, Tower Millennium Pier, London.  1pm-5pm (boards 12.15pm sharp)

Big Youth, Chainska Brassika, The Co-operators ft. Joe Yorke & friends + Funkdub DJs 
One of Jamaica’s most iconic toasters Big Youth comes to LISF with a full band with support from two of UK’s brightest up & coming stars
O2 Academy Islington, London N1 0PS.  7pm-11pm

Roddy Radiation (from The Specials) & the Skabilly Rebels, Arthur Kay, The Launchers, Subsetters +more tba 
The Specials lead guitarist and writer of their hits Concrete Jungle, Rat Race & Hey Little Rich Girl brings his Skabilly Rebels to the festival.  Plus full supporting bill.
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  7pm-11pm

Trojan Records official club night special
Reggae’s most iconic label brings it’s official club night from The Social to the festival for a one-off special.  With host Mistah Brown and an unstoppable dream DJ line up
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  11pm-4am

Time Tunnel club night
w/ DJs Liam Curtin, Sean Bright, Nanker Phelge & Gerry Owens 
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  11pm-4am

Day 3 – Saturday 11th April 2020

Reggae Chartbusters ft. The Pioneers, Dennis Alcapone and Freddie Notes + The Red Stripes & Tonic Ska choir + DJs Miss Gemini & Paul Dixon. Our Saturday night is hard to beat with a triple bill of reggae royalty and guest.
O2 Academy Islington, London N1 0PS.  5pm-11pm

Do The Dog skazine all-dayer
ft. The Kubricks, Zen Baseball Bat, Cartoon Violence, The Downsetters, Skata Tones, Jr Bill, easydread + more tba! The worlds longest running ska publication presents a who’s who of today British ska scene
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  2pm-10pm

Valve sound system special
w/ Phil Bush & special guests Tobi Rhythm Ruler and Brian KelsonPhil Bush’s beautifully hand-built all valve sound system is now in its fifth year of the festival.  Always a highlight.  Come hear how the music should be heard!
O2 Academy Islington, London N1 0PS.  11pm-4am

Dub Boat Thames cruise w/ Dennis Bovell, Don Letts, Wrongtom & The Ragga Twins, Ras Digby & Mr Faso (Rootikal) Come sail the Thames on the 3 storey Dutch Master vessel, with 2 rooms of legends!
The Dutch Master vessel, Tower Millennium Pier, London. 1pm-5pm / boards 12.30pm sharp

2 Tone Thames cruise 
A whole Thames cruise dedicated to the sounds that inspired and defined the 2 Tone era… the music of The Specials, Madness, The Beat, The Selecter, Dexys Midnight Runners, Prince Buster, Toots & The Maytals and beyond.
The Dutch Master vessel, Tower Millennium Pier, London.  7.45pm-11.45pm / boards 7.15pm sharp

Day 4 – Easter Sunday 12th April 2020

Womans Day
starring Hollie Cook, Susan Cadogan, Carroll Thompson & DJs Ayito & Heidi Ellis
A whole day dedicated to Woman in ska & reggae, with an all-female line up starring;  Hollie Cook, Susan Cadogan (famed for her Hurt So Good) global smash hit, Lovers Rock superstar Carroll Thompson
O2 Academy Islington, London N1.  6pm-11pm

Easter Ska Stomp w/ The Communicators, The Skalites, The Dekkertones & more tba 
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  5pm-10pm

Sonia Pottinger tribute ft. DJs Naoko The Rock, Grace of Spades & Texas Ranger The festival pays homage to Jamaica’s great female producer with the 3 best female DJs on the scene today!
O2 Academy2 Islington, London N1 0PS.  10pm-1am

For full line up / guest list enquiries / tickets via

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