People Power Passion People Power Passion

19th Jul - 20th Jul 2019


See Luton like you have never seen it before.

On Friday 19 & Saturday 20 July, the town centre will be taken over by family-friendly activity to mark 100 years since the town hall was burnt to the ground. Rides, food, drink and entertainment will be available from 12pm - 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

The main event, a breathtaking performance of music, dance and projections by local and national acts will wow audiences at 9pm on Friday 19 July.

Free tickets available here.

Luton Town Hall

In 1919, as the town hall burned, rioters danced in the street. In 2019, we're returning to the very same spot.

Exactly 100 years after it burned, People Power Passion will take over the front of the Town Hall. Extraordinary acts of resistance around the world and in Luton will be explored through a spectacle of music, dance and light.

An extraordinary act of art and resistance happened on the night of Friday 19 July 1919. After riots broke out and the Town Hall was set alight, the people of Luton broke into a nearby music store, dragged out pianos and danced and sung whilst illuminated by flames. This year the pianos return in a riotous celebration of the music, dance, cultures and communities of the people that call Luton home.

Put on your dancing shoes and warm up your singing voice because exactly 100 years after it burned, People Power Passion will take over the front of the Town Hall with a riot of music, dance and projections. Join us for a celebration of the cultures of the communities of Luton.

This free event will animate our town centre and invite audiences of all ages to see the Town Centre in a new light.

The food, drinks and rides will be available in St George's Square and the main event will take place in front of the Town Hall. Audiences will be standing and there will be lasers and flashing lights. An accessible seating area is available but needs to be pre-booked. Please visit the FAQ tab or email for more information.


David Murphy, Sinfonia Verdi
Music Director, People Power Passion

@murphyconducts @SinfoniaVerdi @sinfoniaverdi

David Murphy is a socially engaged conductor with a particular interest in bringing diverse musical genres and cultures together so people can enjoy the creative sparks that inevitably result. He works with orchestras and opera companies internationally, but the roots of HIS work, and of orchestra Sinfonia Verdi of which he is the Artistic Director, are in Luton and its vibrant creative community.

“It is the energy and creative potential of Luton that inspires me. As one of the most super-diverse towns in the world it is a special place – a microcosm of human potential."


Union Dance
Choreography Team, People Power Passion


Union Dance was formed in 1985 by Artistic Director Corrine Bougaard. Corrine's distinguished career includes work with Rambert Dance Company, training with London School of Contemporary Dance and the legendary Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre in New York. Corinne is working in collaboration with Jordan Kennedy, a graduate of the Rambert School of Ballet and a former professional junior footballer. He has worked on Ballet Boys and McQueen.


Lizzy Fretwell
Assistant Director, People Power Passion


Lizzy Fretwell is a graduate in Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway University and a born and bred Lutonian. While at university, Lizzy directed a production of Di, Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore. Last year Lizzy submitted a new piece of writing to be performed in a 'Luton Presents' evening and directed her own set of monologues entitled 'We've Chosen Here'.

"I am looking forward to being involved in bringing this fantastic collaboration of music and dance to the centre of Luton: the town I grew up in, love and call home."

Lizzy Fretwell


Bethany Evangeline Paul
Trainee Dance Captain, People Power Passion


Bethany Evangeline Paul is a highly versatile graduate in dance, film, radio and television. Bethany has skills and experience of stage management, documentary making, short film production, radio production and social media. Bethany also dances professionally and has experience of teaching dance.

"I am looking forward to working alongside professional dancers and choreographers and learning more about the dance industry. I want to support young people's creativity and expression through the medium of dance."


Here's what we have in store for you...

Friday 19 July 2019

12pm to 11pm
  • Rides
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Entertainment
12pm - 9pm
  • 1.30pm - Riot Act - this play in the Council Chamber uses aspects of the 1919 riots as a looking glass into modern themes of anger, feeling left out, poverty, homelessness, women’s issues and more
  • 4pm - Ilyssa Elektra performing a variety of songs
  • 4.30pm - Gospel artist Andrew Parkes
  • 5pm - Jazz Flavourz
  • 5.30pm - Tinker's Lane
  • 7.30pm - Riot Act
  • 8.30pm - UK Decay

Main event with dance, music, theatre and projections reflecting Luton's vibrant cultures and communities

Saturday 20 July 2019

Programme of family-fun entertainment on our purpose built town hall stage.

12pm to 11pm
  • Rides
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Entertainment
12pm - 9pm
  • 12.00pm - Matheiu Paul
  • 12.10pm - Alisa Harris and Umera Fatima
  • 12.30pm - Dohls Royce - Dohl drumming
  • 1pm - Kat Anderson
  • 1.30pm - Kadam Dance
  • 2pm - Luton Roma Trust with Oz Auzubine
  • 2.30pm - Saxy Irish
  • 3pm - Umera Fatima
  • 3pm - Yakub Rokita Film
  • 3pm - 4pm - Riot Act
  • 4.00pm - Peace Day Riots Heritage Walk with Paul Hammond
  • 4.30pm - Ilyssa Elektra
  • 5.00pm - Samara Barnett
  • 5.30pm - Osagyefo Theatre Company
  • 6pm - Haneefah Muhammad
  • 6.30pm - Matheiu Paul
  • 7pm - Yvonne Michelle
  • 7.30pm Riot Act
  • 8.30pm - Rylands Heath


    Viewer discretion is advised. Flashing lights and lasers are used in this production.

    Q) When is the People Power Passion Spectacular?

    A) It is a 2 day event beginning on 19th July at 4pm and concluding on 20th July at 11pm.

    The main event will take place at 9pm on Friday evening.

    Please see Programme and Artists page for full details.

    Q) Where is the People Power Passion Spectacular taking place?

    A) The main stage is in front of the Town Hall on George Street, Luton, LU1 2BQ

    The information tent, seating, food and drink stalls, rides and a big screen will be located in St. George’s Square (adjacent to the Town Hall).

    Q) Is there a cost to attend the event?

    A) No, the event is FREE but some other activities are paid for like food, drinks, rides, face-painting etc.

    Q) Is this a family event?

    A) All activities planned are for all ages. The main extravaganza does not begin until 9pm on Friday. The timing is to mark the exact 100 years Anniversary.

    Q) Is there car parking?

    A) There is ample car parking in the Town Centre. The majority are free from 6pm. Car parks are signposted from the main roads into Luton. Town Centre Car Parks located at:

    Q) Can the event be accessed by public transport?

    A) The Town Centre is easily accessible by train and bus. Luton Train Station is only a few minutes walk from the main event and trains run regularly both north and south.

    Arriva run a frequent bus service to and from Luton Town Centre. We ask that you plan your journey in advance. To enable people to be able to travel home Arriva have kindly added in two additional services to support this. The number 12 and number 24 will run additional services at 22:45 and 23:15.

    The number 12 bus travels to Stopsley (via Crawley Road)

    The number 24 bus travels via Old Bedford Road, Bushmead, Bramingham, Marsh Farm, Sundon Park, Hockwell Ring and Lewsey Farm

    The following buses operate a later running schedule:

    27 – Marsh Farm through Bury Park and Leagrave – last bus 23.00

    31 – Dunstable via Bury Park and Hospital – last bus 22.30

    321 – London Road area – last bus at 23.00

    A&Z – till late

    Q) What time does the event open?

    A) St. George’s Square will open at 12 noon on both days.

    Staged entertainment will begin at 4pm on Friday and 12.30pm on Saturday.

    Q) What time does the event end?

    A) 11pm both evenings.

    Q) Where can I find information about hotels?

    A) There a number of hotels located in and around the Town Centre.

    Q) Can I bring my own food?

    A) There will be food vendors in St. George’s Square offering a variety of food offerings. Further information on food and drink can be found on the ‘Food and Drinks’ page.

    Only food and drink bought at the vendors stalls in St. George’s Square can be consumed in the seating areas.

    Q) Can I bring my own alcohol?

    A) No, you can’t bring your own alcohol. There will be a licensed bar in St. George’s Square and alcoholic drinks can only be consumed in this space.

    Q) Are there toilets?

    A) There will be a limited number of toilets in St. George’s Square. The Mall Shopping centre also has a number of toilets which can be accessed until 7pm.

    Q) Are there facilities for the disabled?

    A) There will be an accessibility viewing point located in George Street. Due to space this will need to be booked in advance. You can do this by emailing Confirmation details will be sent out. Please do contact the team as soon as possible as spaces are limited and it will be done on a first come first served basis.

    The footprint of the whole event is on flat paved area but as this is a busy town centre free event it may be slightly harder to navigate through. Any further queries should be sent to the mailbox above.

    Q) Can I bring my own chair?

    A) The event is a standing event because we want to encourage audience involvement. however there is an accessible stage which you can find out more about in these FAQs, so if you find it hard to stand you can sit down.

    Get involved. We would like to hear from you:

    We invite any individuals or groups interested in being part of the dance ensemble to get in touch. There will be a range of dance, performing and participation roles available, if you're not sure what you want to do but still want to get involved, contact our team!

    All abilities are welcome.

    No experience necessary.

    To start a conversation please email or


    Destiny Bright

    Destiny Bright known musically by stage name Ilyssa Elektra is an RnB/Pop singer, songwriter and music producer. She studied Music Technology and Public Relations at the University of West London. Her new EP entitled Party Girl has just been released and features this diva’s solo creative abilities as she executed the whole project single-handedly, even producing the music, a task which mainly men handle in the music industry. However Destiny boldy stood up as a woman to defy the status quo. Attenders of People Power Passion will be delighted by the awesome synergy between Destiny’s private endeavours and her work with the People Power Passion event, as she identifies with the plight of women attempting to be catalysts of something important to them. She is the singer for #metoo which is a piece which uses sound and visuals to celebrate the role women have played in acts of defiance to hostility. Get ready to be wowed. @ilyssaelektra #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #ilyssaelektra

    Andrew Parkes

    Andrew Parkes is only twenty-five years old, but has been a praise and worship leader for eight years. He performs with his group called Sound of Judah at various functions around the UK and in church. He is also an avid keyboardist, playing since the age of just three. He will be showing off his vocal prowess on July 19 in the #BlackLivesMatter section. If you love gospel music, this promising talent’s impressive performance will blow you away. Don’t miss it. #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #andrewparkes #soundofjudah #cogic #youngadultministries #yam

    Lee Nelson

    The poetry world hasn’t been the same since Lee Nelson joined it in 1996. Entranced by the power of words, Lee is the host of Utter! Lutonia, a regular spoken word event in Luton. Lee even has a poem fittingly entitled ‘19th July 1919’ which coincidentally is the theme for People Power Passion and was commissioned by the BBC for National Poetry Day 2016. Written in the voice of the Town Hall that was burnt down, the poem celebrates the grassroots energy of Luton, its fusions and hybrids, its history and hopes, defiance and continuity. Lee will be performing his poem as part of the Outdoor Spectacular on 19 July 2019. Don’t miss Lee take over the biggest stage #Luton has seen. Can you feel the energy of People Power Passion? #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #leenelson #utterlutonia @ARealLeeNelson

    NGYT Dance Company

    The NGYT Dance Company @ngyt_uk is not to be messed with. Over 2018/19 they have already been part of 19 community performances and People Power Passion is just another example of the vibrant difference they make through theatre and dance. Founders Laura and David Lloyd have over 25 years of experience between them and have infected their students with skill and hunger. In collaboration with their students, NGYT have produced the movement for the #BlackLivesMatter piece. Eight brilliant dancers of colour will move you to tears with this unforgettable performance alongside Andrew Parkes and @TC2311. Also: a little birdy tells us that Laura herself will be performing in the #MeToo and #Riot pieces - don't miss the chance to see this fabulous dance icon of Luton on stage! #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #ngytdanceco

    Dusna's Dance Academy

    Meet Dusna’s Dance Academy. Dusna is a Lutonian who loves to dance solo but equally loves sharing the glamour and fun of Bollywood dance with her community. December 2018 saw her put together a Bollywood flash mob in St George’s Square and here she is again, surprising unsuspecting residents of Luton with a taste of South Asian culture. Sources say there will also be a live performance of the most popular Punjabi dance song… Are you coming???!!! Insta - dusnasdanceacademy #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #dusnachauhananddancers #dusnachauhan

    Revellers Steelband

    The Revellers Steelband is an inspiring group who went from playing purely for the love of steel pans to performing UK wide They promote steel pan music and culture through workshops and community projects. They will be performing at the main event at 9pm. Come and dance the night away with them but be warned, have an energy drink to hand and wear something comfortable on your feet as this act is truly mesmerising. Instagram – revellersteelband #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #revellerssteelband @rsteelband

    Jayna Patel

    If you’re looking for something that screams Bollywood, look no further than Jayna Patel. Jayna was born in Luton and grew up with all things #Luton. She loves to sing and dance to Bollywood music and will dazzle you with her renditions of TWO popular Bollywood performances. . Supported by Dusna’s Dance Academy, Jayna will bring the dazzle of Bollywood to Luton. Don’t miss it. #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #jaynapatel

    Tychnique Ciamala

    When Tychniqe Ciamala isn’t engrossed in Dr Who, he can be found living out his passion for spoken word. The 24 year old lyricist grew up inLuton and will be up on the stage TWICE during the outdoor spectacular. Watch out for him as the show begins at 9pm and then you can’t miss him as he joins vocalist Andrew Parkes and @ngyt_uk in the #BlackLivesMatter performance. If you want to attend register for updates on Eventbrite. #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #tychniqueciamala @TC2311


    Is it Christine Hennecke’s multiple spins combined with intricate funky footwork? Maybe Glen McLean’s mixed style of Fusion and Boogie? Anyway, something has everyone talking about Jazzcotech. The group comprising of seven friends are guardians of the UK Underground Jazz Dance and Music scene and have a natural talent for dancing to JazzFunk, Latin, Boogie, Funk and Jazz Fusion. What happened after the riots of 1919? Well the 1920’s rolled in! Jazzcotech are taking us back to this era of raucous dance and music. Definitely not to be missed. Instagram – jazzcotech #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #jazzcotech @jazzcotechlive

    UK Decay

    UK Decay, #Luton’s favourite punk group headline festivals and tours across Europe but will be performing right here in their home town of Luton at People Power Passion. Formed in the winter of 1978, they built up a fearsome live reputation within five years across the UK, Europe and US with recordings that regularly reached the top of the independent charts. Three decades later, their spirit lives on, serving up songs of equal beauty and ferocity. Make sure you’re there on the 19th July to witness them getting the party started! @ukdecays #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #ukdecay www.

    Kadam Dance

    Hands up if you love to dance. Was that you @kadamdance? We know you! You’re based in #Luton aren’t you? Don’t you specialise in South Asian dance and music performances for everyone?! We can’t wait to see you at People Power Passion on July 19 . Kadam will be bringing Kali Chandrasegaram to the outdoor spectacular where he will perform classical Odissi dance.To find out more follow People Power Passion on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and register for Eventbrite updates. This is set to be a magnificent community event for Luton.. #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #kadamdanceandmusic

    Spiral Freerun

    Formed in December 2012, Spiral Freerun is a team of young people inspiring upcoming generations to use their bodies to their full potential. They run Parkour classes and perform in and around Bedfordshire. . Come and watch them at Luton Council’s centenary marking of the Peace Day riots to be convinced that the capabilities of humans are endless. Keep an eye out for them as the show starts at 9pm – are we breaking in to the Town Hall or is someone trying to get out? #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #parkour #freerunning #spiralfreerun Instagram – spiralfreerun @SpiralFreerun

    Osagyefo Theatre Company

    Osagyefo Theatre Company is an African Arts in Education Company that supports the teaching and learning of African arts all over Europe. They will be representing African communities on 19 July so dust off your talking drum, put on your dancing shoes and come and join in the fun. #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #osagyefotheatrecompany

    Big Music Company

    The BIG Music Company is run by Gail Windrass. BIG stands for Because I’m Golden and they Believe everyone is golden! With their aim to bring people of all walks of life together they run community choirs, group singing events and experiences, and bespoke group singing activities. Find out more about their endeavours at and don’t forget to register for updates to see them perform at People Power Passion where they will be singing a song famous for its role in the 1919 Peace Day riots. Any guesses as to what it is?. #talent #peoplepowerpassion #behindthescenes #lutonartsandculture #bigmusiccompany @bigmusiccom