Save The Ska Festival

by Sean Flowerdew in London, England, United Kingdom

Save The Ska Festival
We did it
On 18th September 2018 we successfully raised £9,985 with 410 supporters in 28 days

To save The London International Ska Festival

by Sean Flowerdew in London, England, United Kingdom

I founded The London Intl Ska Festival in 1988.  Since then we've celebrated all things ska, from its roots in mento, calypso and rhythm & blues and onward through its evolution into rocksteady, reggae, dub, 2 Tone, skapunk and beyond.

Since 2011 the festival has been operating with substantial debts, which despite some great support and fundraising still total over £50,000.  In the last 8 years, although I haven't ever taken a penny from the festival or been paid for any of the work, I have been able to keep the festival going year to year and paying off debts as I go.  This unfortunately has taken its toll and I can no longer afford to fund the festival by myself.   

So I'm reaching out to ska lovers around the world, to people who see the importance of our historic festival and to all the people who have enjoyed the shows over the last 30 years. 

The aim of this crowdfunder is to try and #SaveTheSkaFest and clear the historic debts once and for all.  Then The London Intl Ska Festival can move forward and continue to programme world-class and world-exclusive shows. You can help in a number of ways.  

You can donate using this campaign, or purchase any one of our rewards which include badges, our compilation CD & LP Rudies All Around (featuring 18 fantastic bands from 13 countries), or tickets for any one of our events (all listed in the rewards).  I will also be adding some more rewards next week. 

Over 30 years we have hosted some of the greatest names in the genre including 2 Tone members from The Specials and Madness, plus The Selecter, The Beat, Jerry Dammers and Rhoda Dakar.  We've had Jamaican legends: Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, U-Roy, The Skatalites (starring Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Knibb, Lloyd Brevett, Dizzy Moore and Lester Sterling), Lee Perry, Horace Andy, Desmond Dekker, Ken Boothe, Doreen Shaffer, Derrick Morgan, Laurel Aitken, Keith & Tex, Ken Parker, Rico Rodriguez, Derrick Harriott, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Dennis Alcapone, Dave & Ansel Collins, The Pioneers, The Clarendonians, Otis Gayle, Owen Gray, Freddie Notes, Stranger Cole, Ranking Joe, BB Seaton (Gaylads), Twinkle Brothers, Clive Chin (Randys), Gladdy Wax sound system, Vin Gordon and Channel One sound system. 

And 100s more including; Steel Pulse, Misty In Roots, Judge Dread, Bitty McLean, Caroll Thompson, Christopher Ellis, Dreadzone, Zion Train, The Skints, Pama International, Don Letts, David Rodigan, James Hunter, The Pietasters, The Toasters, African Head Charge, Dennis Bovell, Gentlemans Dub Club, Babylon Circus, Dub Pistols, Brinsley Forde (Aswad), The Hempolics, Jazz Jamaica, Mad Professor, The Loafers, Potato 5, Hotknives, Ska Cubano, Wrongtom, Manasseh, Sonic Boom Six, Chris Murray, to name a very few. 

We have hosted shows in iconic London venues including; the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Forum, 100 Club, The Astoria, The Brixton Fridge (now the Electric), O2 Academy Islington, Islington Assembly Hall, Dixie Queen paddle steamer, Camden's Dublin Castle, Jazz Cafe, Dingwalls, Electric Ballroom and Barfly. 

I would love to continue the festival.  The next one is in the diary for 18-21 April 2019.   If you'd like to see The London Intl Ska Festival continue please support if you can afford to and share this campaign with anyone you know who loves ska!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

Prize draw

Prizes include - Trojan Records bundle - Greensleeves Records bundle - £250 Merc clothing vouchers - £250 Modfather clothing vouchers - 2 tickets for LISF Clash Thames cruise-20Oct - 2 tickets for LISF 2 Tone Thames cruise-15Dec - Signed LPs from; Lynval/The Specials, Toots & The Maytals, Mad Professor, Wrongtom, Pama Intl & more! More prizes tba. Tickets £5 each. Draw 1stOct'18

£5 or more

Pin Badge set

The London Intl Ska Festival 30th anniversary pin badge and Rudies All Around pin badge. Reward includes free p&p anywhere in the world.

£10 or more

15 of 100 claimed

Hot100 club night 22 Sept'18

LISF presents... HOT100 at The Social, London W1. starring 10 DJs, singers & producers each selecting their 10 favourite ska, rocksteady & reggae dancefloor tunes incl; Lynval (The Specials), Freddie Notes (Trojan legend), Wrongtom, Manasseh, Mistah Brown, Alan Handscombe, Gio One Stop, Nanker Phelge, Simon Cobb & Sean Flowerdew.

£20 or more

LISF Football team posters

There are 6 exclusive football team posters to collect. Get the set here for £20 post free anywhere in the world. Teams include stars of the Ska era (Ska Comets), Rocksteady (Rovers), Reggae (Royals), Dub (the Dub Lions), 2 Tone (Tigers) and US 3rd Wavers. You can view the posters at

£20 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Pama Intl - Altruistic Soul Sound of... signed CD

We have 20 signed CD copies of Pama International's next album - The Altruistic Soul Sound of... which is due out January 2019. Order it via the LISF crowdfunder and you will receive this for Christmas. What a lovely Christmas present it will make someone. The £20 reward includes postage anywhere in the world.

£25 or more

8 of 20 claimed

2 Tone Christmas Thames cruise - 15 Dec'18

LISF presents... Our Christmas 2 Tone Thames cruise Starring the music that inspired and defined an era. The sounds of; The Specials, Madness, The Beat, The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers, Rico, Special AKA, Elvis Costello, Dexys, The Clash, Prince Buster, The Skatalites, The Pioneers, The Jam, Blondie, UB40 + more. Sat 15 Dec'18 The Golden Jubilee boat boards at 6.45pm sharp / sails 7-11pm Boards/disembarks at Temple Pier, Victoria Embankment

£25 or more

1 of 100 claimed

Trojan Thames cruise / LISF fundraiser

Come join us for a Trojan Records Thames cruise on Sat 17 Nov. Sails to and from Temple Pier, Victoria Embankment, London (opp.Temple tube station). Come take it London's sights to the sounds of Trojan Records.

£30 or more

9 of 10 claimed

Phoenix City All-stars - Clash In Dub signed LP

The forthcoming Phoenix City All-stars LP, signed. Only 10 available. "An incendiary dub take on The Clash".

£140 or more

18 of 100 claimed

The London Intl Ska Festival 2019 patron ticket

Should the festival go ahead it will be held on 18-21 April 2018. The patron ticket gets you entry to 16 world exclusive events and a LISF2019 t-shirt. The more people who buy this ticket the more likely the event is to happen. If the LISF2019 doesn't happen £120 will be refunded and your t-shirt will be posted to you.

£30 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Pama Intl - Altruistic Soul Sound of... signed LP

We have 10 signed copies of Pama International's next album - The Altruistic Soul Sound of... which is due out January 2019. Order it via the LISF crowdfunder and you will receive this for Christmas. What a lovely Christmas present it will make someone. The £30 reward includes postage anywhere in the world.

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