The Whitecross Street Party 


There are hundreds of images and videos across the internet, on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, although little formal documentation, programme listings or credits. Some pages from historical websites were accessed through web archive systems but available information is haphazard. Whitecross Street Party and Rise of the Non-Conformists live-on as shared memories with those who experienced it rather than in a publicly available historical archive.



Street artists included Stik, Teddy Baden, Wreckage, Burning Candy, Carrie Reichardt, Dotmasters, David Bray, Dr. d, Filthy Luker, Gavin Turk, Giles Walker, Best Ever, Dead Leg, Mysterious Al, Matt Small, Mr. E. Dawe, Paul Insect, Peter Dunne, Shephard Fairey (OBEY), Peter Dunne, Will Barras, Wreckage, Xenz and Eelus, with a six-week exhibition of paintings across many buildings. The two-day party was reported on the WXSP website as ‘dozens of leading cult, counter culture and contemporary artists converged upon Whitecross Street and transformed the street into a giant canvas.’



The transformation of the space was stepped up with several large sculptures including a giant cockroach and a giant rubber chicken erected on buildings with the six-week street art exhibition. Entertainment included a brass band and one music stage. Tiki Truck was reportedly given a ticket by parking warden.



The Olympic year brought extra funding from the Cultural Olympiad and 2012 is remembered as the most spectacular year including kenetic scultures by Paka the Uncredible and Emergency Exit Arts’s Binbot moved through crowds, a programme of diverse live music on the stages and a sound system. Artists included Louis Masai, Paka the Uncredible Shepard Fairey, Joel Grey’s giant sculpture of a bone, Conor Harrington's billboard-size painting, Ben Wilson's chewing gum paintings. Performaces included from Sadlers Wells, Zoo Nation, LSO, Robots Art Collective, Continental Drifts, Lyrix Organix, Emergency Exit Arts, New Orleans Marching Band.



This year Filthy Luker’s giant inflatable tentacles sat on top of a building next to a giant baby on top of an upturned car. The live painting boards were sponsored by Travis Perkins. Artists included Bleach, David Shillinglaw, Dale Grimshaw, Louis Masai, Irony and Boe, Sweet Toof, Kef, Mr Penfold, Malarky, Teddy Baden, Wreckage International, AIDA. Entertainment included Bramble FM theatre.



Website describes WXSP as ‘Some call it post-post irony. We call it a lot of bleeding effort’. Remains a two-day event with exhibition.  Artwork includes The Sweet Toof on a building corner. First year of ACE support. Bramble FM returned, a performance artist lay in a bird cage, there were belly dancers, PINS mini disco and art workshop, and live music. Participatory elements in the form of a blackboard and chalk with the provided opening line ‘Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’ and a piano for people to play. A few more female artists this year, artists included: Inkie, Mohammed Sami, Saki & B, Sean Worrall, HIN, ATM, DONK, Teddy Baden, Roys People, DS Art, Thieu, Andrea Tyrimos, Joe Fur, Zadok, Hannah Adamaszek, Boxhead.



For the first time a one day event. Extensive community programme with ten projects, five producing artworks (including Linda Florence tiles and Louis Masai bee mural) and five producing performative festival outcomes (including an intergenerational hula-hoop group with performers aged 3 - 80 years old and a carnival project with Spectrum). The live painting element reduced to small 1m x 1m boards mounted onto Harris fencing.



One day event with exhibition including Bureau of Silly Ideas, Spectrum Youth Takeover stage, Fear of Fluffing, stilt walkers, hula-hooping policemen. Live painting on small boards. Hot balmy weather. Marketing describes it as an ‘exotic cocktail which can only be mustered up with community spirits, mixed with a sensational splash of urban art and a large dash of the unexpected. A brilliant family-friendly event for both the avid art lover and those that like something a bit different.’



Hosted for the first time by City YMCA London with homeless theme.  The steering group was overseen by LBI Arts Team. Stewards were paid for the first time when volunteers were not forthcoming. Thirty-five artists live painted on small boards with twenty artworks subsequently mounted onto four buildings for eight-week exhibition. The party included inflatable artworks installed by Filthy Luker, a photographic outreach project by Kunstraum, a main stage programme by Key Changes featuring amongst others The Hulas from Prior Weston, a Youth Takeover stage presented by Dragonhall, an acoustic stage by Islington Oxjam, Solution Sound System, the WX Dance Floor with Counterpoint Dance Company, The Big House, HSS Punk Choir, the over 55's Nimble Western Line Dancers, The Strictly Stylish Sequence Dancers, street performers including The Roosting Big Birds, The Mobile Phone, the Suitcase Puppet Shows, The Fear of Fluff, puppeteers from Little Angel Theatre, a catwalk show by Prangsta, children’s activities and a bouncy castle in Fortune Park, 39 traders. Artist included Aveaskeg, The Hidden Printer, Ant Carver, Mr Switch, Ben Rider, Cityzen Kane, Solo One, Krom, Carl Cashman, Ronzo, Pakal, Coby Walsh and a Reclamation Nation placard project with workshops by Print is Power. Drizzley weather.

City YMCA London is a Registered Charity No 1053864