Our History

The Stratford & East London Music Festival was founded in 1882, making it the UK’s oldest music and drama festival.  It has continued to grow in popularity since that time, with entries in 2016 reaching over 1,000 in over 200 classes.

Our festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals.

Many musicians and actors can trace the start of their careers from success at the Stratford & East London Music Festival.

These include Jonathan Antoine, one half of ‘Jonathan and Charlotte’, who were runners-up in Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 (losing out to dancing dog act ‘Ashleigh and Pudsey’ and Charlotte Barbour-Condini, who reached the final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2012.

The Stratford & East London Music Festival usually runs across two weeks in February.

Click for more information about previous festivals.