Carpe Diem Emmie pre-reviews our CANTEEN Takeover and JOURNEYS WEEKENDER

Leicester’s food event CANTEEN has been an absolute hit to the city, taking place on the last Friday of every month and playing host to some of the best independent food businesses from in and around the city. On Friday 25 August Journeys Festival International will be taking over Canteen to launch the festival in Leicester, before the Journeys Weekender in Jubilee Square this weekend. CANTEEN will be given a JFI flavour for the night, with global inspired food, drink, music and more.

Curated by CANTEEN’s organised Ahmed, the vendors for this month’s CANTEEN event are based on countries across the globe who have been linked to mass dispersal or places which refugees have felt. The majority of the stalls available at the event do have a link to this but also there’s a good opportunity to sample some excellent food too! Featured at the event will be Leave It To Esmie, The Middle Feast, Savanna Grill, Wallace and Sons, Street Souvlaki, Victoria Creperie and Grays cafe. An addition to the food stalls, local group Soft Touch Arts refugee cookery group will also be on hand with their very own stall, Toastbusters for you to enjoy.

Whilst you’re enjoying the opportunity to sample some of the food that the event has to offer there’s also some great creative extras for you to get involved in within the LCB Depot space. From 5.30pm onwards you can drop in for some printmaking with Leicester Print Workshop or join in a participatory gastro-performance by BREAKFAST ELSEWHERE at 5.00pm and 8.30pm! The festival’s two visual reality exhibitions will also remain open for the evening; Displaced Witness in the Lightbox Gallery and REKREI in the shipping container outside the Curve theatre, which was painted by street art duo, Nomad Clan earlier this week! They’ll also be a live music performance from the Zimbabwean Action in Solidarity Choir, DJs and global sounds.

CANTEEN is a free, walk in event so whether you’d like to just see some of the work available to you and be tempted by the smells of the delicious food on offer then do so at your leisure.

The CANTEEN takeover leads nicely onto the Journeys Weekender on Sat 26 - Sun 27 August between 12-6pm each day, in Jubilee Square, in the centre of Leicester. For the afternoon be treated to a free multi-arts festival that celebrates both talents and influences from around the world in one weekend and right on your doorstep. On the World Music Stage we’ll have performances from the likes of, the Somali-British singer-songwriter, Aar Mantar, high-energy African fusion music from Mankala, grime artist, Afrikan Boy, who collaborated with M.I.A on the Paper Planes album Kala and Syrian Mountain rock/reggae band Tootard. There is also the opportunity to enjoy globally inspired street food from a variety of vendors on Saturday and a Global Picnic on Sunday, where everyone is encouraged to bring dishes from their country to share at a giant picnic!

Also, there’s loads of free workshops including creating your own kite with expert kite makers based on beautiful designs from India and Afghanistan, flag making, KARAVAN storytelling and the JFI Travelling Library. Or, check out the JFI and British Red Cross Roots Hut to get some beautiful henna f watch live drumming performances, and learn about simple filmmaking with award-winning local refugee filmmaker, Parang.

It’s definitely worth getting yourself down to Leicester’s CANTEEN event and the Journeys Weekender this weekend to enjoy some great stuff! It’s all totally free and all about celebrating artists who have been on challenging and interesting journeys.

Check this out and other blog posts on Emmie's website at and keep your eyes open for her next #JFILeics post!

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