Your guide to the ultimate London craft beer festival

With dry January over we can finally raise our glasses this weekend to the return of the Craft Beer Rising Festival at Old Trumans Brewery in Brick Lane.

The UK’s biggest craft beer festival will host over 178 food and drink stands which exhibit 155 of the best breweries around. It is the ultimate craft beer, street food and music experience for industry experts, passionate hobbyists and novices alike.

“I think a festival like CBR, and how it’s developed, is definitely about breaking through the craft beer bubble and welcoming in non beer drinkers,” says Tom Harrison, Events & Marketing Manager at Mondo.

Expect beer stands from UK’s favourite brands such as London Fields Brewery, Mondo, Tiny Reber and Fourpure. Alongside these brewers are beers from around the world including Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint, Goose Island, Yeastie boys and Australian brewery Stone & Wood.

CBR 18 from elastic on Vimeo.

“For me, and probably most of us at Stone & Wood, it’s simplicity,” says Pat Keeble from Stone and Wood Brewery. “The beer speaks for itself – it’s balanced and unpretentious meaning anyone can try it and hopefully anyone can enjoy it.”

The up and coming stars at this year’s event include Lost and Grounded, Bianca Road and the all-female brewery Mothership, who will be exhibiting their first brews this weekend.

If alcohol isn’t your thing, there are also lots of low alcohol brewers, as well as award-winning, full flavour alcohol-free brews, from Big Drop and Infinite Session.

Or for food lovers, cruise around the reworked Fox’s Den and line your belly with acclaimed, finger-licking street food.

The big headliners this year are Mother Clucker’s famous buttermilk fried chicken or the vegan-friendly Biff’s Jack Shack, which serve up crispily fried jackfruit drenched in hot sauce. Street food favourite Kolkati’s Indian Kati Roll will also be on offer, as well as several celebrated British produce such as Claw or Wild Ones.

With your entry ticket comes a souvenir glass, a programme and numerous tasting sessions and talks.

Topics of the talks will include ethics and equality in brewing, food and beer pairing, as well as emerging trends and markets.

“In terms of trade, you build and maintain relationships, but it’s also a party on both sides of the bar,” says Tom Harrison, Events & Marketing Manager at Mondo.

In the evening, sessions DJ’s will keep the party going until late. This year London Disco Society, Cuban Brothers, Pete Paphides, Zero 7, Don Letts, Tom Findlay and Jay Carder promise a mix of Dubstep, Funk & Soul, Hip Hop and RnB will provide the music to the flavour food.

For more information check out their website here

For live updates at the festival check out their twitter



Small London artists don’t suffer when A-lists drop new music

Waking up to new music on a Friday has become a ritual for streaming lovers. When it’s a big name, social media explodes with fans and sceptics alike trying to decide if has automatically become a classic.

Yet, often when a big name like Ariana Grande, Kanye West or Cardi B release new music, they are not alone on the release date and tend to dominate for months after.

Cardi B, left, accepts the award for best rap album for "Invasion of Privacy" as Offset looks on at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Cardi B was the first female to accept the award for Best Rap Album at The Grammys last week. Credit: Matt Sayles (AP)

In fact, Ariana Grande’s single ‘7 Rings’ has now spent four weeks at number one of the Billboard Top 100, coming in top from her fifth studio album ‘Thank U, Next’.

Today, Offset, from the US rap group Migos, has released his new solo album ‘Father of 4’ that features J Cole, CeeLo Green and Travis Scott.

But how does music from these big stars impact lesser known or emerging artists in a label?

Alice Morrison was the Digital Release Manager at Universal Music Group until September 2018.

Working in a team Alice was assigned two record labels that fall within the Universal Group. Some of the labels Universal control include Def Jam and G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye West’s record label).

Alice emphasises that there are a lot of factors which go into deciding a release date.

“The conversation is instigated by the artist and management and then the label help to advise based on a discussion with the radio plugger (people who help get music on the radio), PR, sales team and digital marketing team.”

She adds that some release weeks are quieter than others but that it also makes sense to avoid clashing release dates with similar artists.

“The date will also be based around artist activity such as live dates and festival performances, and its important to have all assets including a video ready in time.”

Even recognisable named artists can suffer, such as Desiigner, a Brooklyn-born rapper who criticised Kanye and his label G.O.O.D Music for not doing enough for him.

As part of a 5 week music release last May and June, Kanye produced albums for himself, Pusha T, Nas, Teyana Taylor and a collaboration between himself and Kid Cudi, with Desiigner not featured on a single song.

Desiigner arrives at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Desiigner arrives at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. Credit: Jordan Strauss (AP)

In terms of impacting a emerging London artist Alice thinks that big releases are not a major threat.

“Ariana or Kanye are untouchable to UK emerging artists. They will be featured across streaming partners in a very different way and gain support that is relevant to their level of success.”

Jihadi Bride’s lawyer questions journalists ethics

The lawyer of Shamima Begum’s family, Tasnime Akunjee, has questioned the ethical reporting of journalists citing Ofcom regulations. 

Akunjee, representing the family of Shamima Begum, 19, who left the UK to join Islamic State in 2015, shared his concern about the way the media is reporting about his client.

Speaking to Sky News, Akunjee said “We have a nineteen-year-old who has given birth to two children who recently died and the fact that the family are shocked that given that [Shamima] is in the situation she’s in, the first thing they see is a journalist punching a large mic at their sister.”

He went on to comment on Shamima’s body language and how she was clutching her sides, suggesting that she was in a lot of pain after giving birth hours before the interview.

Ofcom regulations state ‘Broadcasters must avoid unjust or unfair treatment of individuals or organisations in programmes’ (7.1)

It was confirmed on that the UK government have now stripped her from her British citizenship.

What should we look at if she was to return? Our presenters Naomi Schanen and George Letheren Smith interview  Uzman Ahmadiya, member of AH-MADI-YA Muslim Community in London.

The Independent Group – What you need to know

A total of 11 MPs have now left the Conservative and Labour parties to create a new party called The Independent Group.

Who are the rebels?

Former Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Gavin Shuker, Chris Leslie, Joan Ryan,  Mike Gapes, Angela Smith and Ann Coffey announced they were leaving their party earlier this week.

They were joined by former Conservative MPs Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen on Wednesday 20 February.

The Independent Group, however, is not a fully-fledged political party, and currently has no leader. It has been touted that former Labour MP Chuka Umunna could lead the new party.

The newly formed group takes the number of independent MPs in the House of Commons up to 19, narrowing Mrs May’s already small Commons majority even further.

Why have they left?

They quit in protest over the direction of both of their parties, saying that the values of the Labour and Conservative parties had changed.

Labour MPs said a “rise in antisemitism” in the party and a deviation from its roots as the main cause of their split from the party.

Chuka Umunna was particularly vocal about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and labelled him as “a Marxist” on a morning program show.

Although the members come from different parties, they are united in their opposition to the Government’s handling of Brexit.

Could more MPs join them?

Highly likely. The rebels have thrown down the gauntlet saying they and their values had not changed but their former parties had.

Both Conservatives and Labour MPs are showing more signs of grumbling discontent amongst their backbenches. If the status quo remains then more will undoubtedly follow.

Should they reach 36 MPs, they would overtake the SNP as parliament’s third largest grouping, which would bring with it speaking rights at PMQs, select committee chair posts, and public funds available to assist opposition parties with their work.

This morning, Labour MP Ian Austin quit the party, however, he has announced he would not be joining the Independent Group.

What now?

Labour Leader said in a Twitter statement the MPs who had left his party should resign and stand for by-elections.

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell also urged MP’s contemplating joining the new party to help “hold the family together”.

The Independent Group will now gather and try to stop a no-deal Brexit, as well as creating a political party with clear aims and policies.

The Oscars 2019 pushes boundaries

The Oscars Awards 2019 goes live at 1am GMT … so expect a few sleepy faces in the office on Monday morning!

The ceremony is the 91st Academy Awards and is pushing the boundaries in new ways.

The awards will be the first time since 1989 that will not have an official host. Comedian Kevin Hart gave up the position to host the awards back in December following the resurfacing of homophobic tweets. Controversy comes after old tweets surfaced in which Hart expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic terminology and slurs.

But a host-less Oscars isn’t the only reason to watch the event this year. Netflix original, Roma, is the first ever film to be nominated for Best Picture that hasn’t had a reported box office, ascertaining the supremacy of the streaming market.

The film is a semi-autobiographical memoir of famed director Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood growing up in Mexico. The story is viewed through the eyes of Alfonso’s house keeper and shown entirely in black and white.

Although the book keepers are favouring Roma to win, there is tough competition from Universal Picture’s Green Book, Marvel blockbuster Black Panther and racial focus film BlacKkKlansman.

Oscars Nominations Graphic. Credit: Ben Malandrinos
Oscars Nominations Graphic. Credit: Ben Malandrinos

Two men rushed to hospital after brawl near Finsbury Park

Two young men have been hospitalised with suspected knife wounds after a fight broke out near Finsbury Park station last night.

Police were called to the scene at 7.15pm following reports about a group of men  fighting.

The victims, both in their 20s, sought help from separate commercial businesses nearby before being taken to east London hospital.

Police say both victims are in a stable condition and their injuries are not life-threatening.

The incident occurred as the Piccadilly line became severely overcrowded following the Arsenal v BATE Borisov match on Thursday evening. Fans were advised to avoid the station.

Islington Council’s crime chief, Andy Hull, said on Twitter: “Concerned to learn of reports of a stabbing around Finsbury Park station this evening. @IslingtonBC colleagues are liaising closely with @MPSIslington”.

If you have any information of the incident please contact the Central North Command Unit on 101 quoting 6675/232FEB, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

BREAKING: Chelsea banned from signing new players for next two transfer windows

Chelsea have been banned from signing new players in the next two transfer windows for breaching FIFA rules in relation to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

The club have been fined just over £460,000 for breaching the rules, the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, has announced this morning.

The FA have also been fined just over £390,000.

The ban only impacts the registration of new players and does not affect those who may wish to depart Stamford Bridge, including winger Eden Hazard who is heavily linked with a move away to Real Madrid.

The Blues signed Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuaín on loan in the January transfer window last month.

The West London club have three days to appeal the decision.

Man stabbed to death in Brixton


A 23-year-old man has been stabbed to death outside a youth club in South London.

Police officers were called to Minet Road in Brixton at approximately 18:45pm last night.

Emergency services were also called to the scene, with police officers providing first aid, before the London air ambulance arrived.

Despite the efforts from the emergency services, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 19:27pm.

Whilst police are waiting for formal identification, they are confident they know the mans identity.

His family has been informed.

More to follow

Trump to use emergency powers to build border wall

President Trump is due to use emergency powers to pay for a border wall with Mexico.

The declaration comes after congress refused to approve $5.7bn (£4.4bn) for the wall, a key pledge in President Trump’s election campaign.

His decision has been strongly criticised by both Democratic and Republican politicians, with senior Democrats accusing the president of a ‘gross abuse of power’.

Declaring a national emergency would give President Trump access to billions of dollars for his project.

The president agreed on Thursday to sign a spending bill that does not include finance for the wall. Previous disagreement over the issue led to a 35 day government shutdown early this year, the longest in US history.

The spending bill is due to be signed shortly to prevent another shutdown and sources say the president plans to sign the emergencies act at the same time.

Tune into City News Radio to hear more!


LFW: Fears for fashion after Brexit

London Fashion week starts today with shows running until Tuesday. Just one month before Brexit, the fashion industry is under the stress of the no-deal uncertainty.

Many young designers fear the custom tariffs, considering that most fabrics are transported to London through the Rotterdam port.

“The biggest fear is customs,” says Asya Ter-Hovakimyan, the co-founder of the young brand Omniss, which showcased at the Fashion Scout this afternoon.

“As a small brand, you don’t actually have the team to handle all these legal issues. Less of those you have, smoother the business is and easier for you to actually make it work.”

Omniss fears legal implications from Brexit no deal
Omniss fears legal implications from Brexit no deal

The future of London Fashion Week doesn’t look promising. Having the reputation for its vibrancy, London’s fashion scene risks to lose its unique selling point. “London is very young fashion, creative, it celebrates the youth.

I definitely share the fear that maybe when you have all these obstacles with potential complications with free movement, you will not have these young people, for example, travelling from Berlin for the Fashion Week, just for the couple of days.” Ter-Hovakimyan points out.

Tamara Cincik is the founder of Fashion Roundtable. She says, that London’s fashion scene has traditionally a “quirkier” reputation, unlike Paris or Milan, which are all about big names such as Chanel or Balenciaga.

The young talents lie at the core of the London Fashion Week, therefore scaring them off with additional costs and bureaucracy would be “catastrophic”.

LFW and Brexit
LFW and Brexit

“It doesn’t get the volume of buyers as you’d get in Paris or Milan,” Cincik says. “If it’s difficult to get to the country, if you can’t get the access to models, to talents, the clothes, I don’t think you’d be able to justify spending the money as a young designer to showcase in London.”

Another reason for the young designers to choose European cities over the London Fashion Week is the legal difficulties they’ll face after Brexit. These will hit especially hard those brands who want to showcase for the first time.

Under the EU legal system, the designers are protected by the intellectual property law, the future of which is uncertain under the no-deal scenario.

Rafaella de Freitas is the policy research assistant at the Fashion Roundtable. She explains: “Unregistered copyright law protects people who are showcasing their designs for the first time at the EU territory.”

Without this law, there won’t be incentives for smaller designers, who don’t have the capital to register for copyrights, to showcase their garments during the London Fashion Week for the first time.

They would rather go to the European cities, where they will be protected. You’d have all of this new talent move away.