696: Celebrating Black music in south London

Where does Black British music belong, and who gets to decide?

The Black British sounds of south London take centre stage at the Horniman Museum and Gardens for 696. This two year programme is supporting and showcasing the area’s cutting-edge live music scene, from Afrofuturist hip-hop to reggae, jazz and soul, curated by Adem Holness FRSA.

From 2006 to 2017, Metropolitan Police risk assessment form 696 made it harder for London music venues to put on Black music events. The 696 programme celebrates the music genres, and the people working in them, that were disproportionately affected by bias in legislation. And it asks questions about the relationship between public spaces and Black live music.

The 696 programme features live gigs, installations, collaborations, residencies, talks, specially commissioned works and a summer music festival.

The 696 Festival offers a mix of free and paid events, with some shows both live and live streamed. Plus ‘pay what you can afford’ for some events with tiered ticketing to suit a range of budgets.

Booking is essential.


696 is more than a celebration of the music I love. By taking its name from the 2006-2017 Metropolitan Police form, 696 acknowledges the way in which Black British music has routinely been pushed out of public spaces. The Horniman was gifted to the people of London by our founder, so it’s right that our spaces and collections should be useful to, and used by, the people on our doorstep, including our local music community.
- Adem Holness FRSA, Music Curator
Supported by