Tony Allen: A Retrospective
Celebrate the legendary Afrobeat drummer alongside a star-studded line-up, including the show’s curators, Damon Albarn, Remi Kabaka, Femi Koleoso and Ben Okri.
The show’s four curators, Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz), Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri, Femi Koleoso (Ezra Collective) and Remi Kabaka (Gorillaz), perform in honour of one of the most important artists of the last century.
They’re joined by an electrifying, extensive line-up as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. It promises to be a spectacular celebration of Tony Allen's life and music, his supreme innovation and his immensely diverse output.
Taking in Afrobeat, jazz, techno and hip hop, the show features a one-off collaboration, masterfully brought together by MD Tom Excell (Nubiyan Twist/ Onipa).
The show features:
Afla Sackey, Andrew Ashong, Ben Okri, Brother Portrait, Bukky Leo, Cassie Kinoshi, Damon Albarn, Dave Okumu, Dele Sosimi, Eska, Ezra Collective, Femi Koleoso, Jimi Tenor, Joan as Police Woman, Joe Armon-Jones, K.O.G, Lava La Rue, Lekan Babalola, Mad Professor, Nitin Sawhney, Remi Kabaka, Richie Seivwright, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Tiger Tigre, Tom Excell (MD) and Wayne Snow.
It also includes never-before-seen interview and video footage with Allen. Visuals provided by More Eyes.
Tony Allen needs little introduction. One of the founding fathers of Afrobeat, his drumming style has influenced generations of musicians over the past 50 years.
An original member of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and the inventor of the distinctive Afrobeat drum rhythm, Tony went on to collaborate with artists including King Sunny Ade, Damon Albarn, Theo Parrish, Oumou Sangaré, Skepta and Jeff Mills.
Sadly passing away in April 2020, just shy of his 80th birthday, he remained a true innovator to the end, with his posthumous album There is No End continuing his collaboration and experimentation alongside Skepta, Sampa the Great and Danny Brown.
‘I play yours, you play mine. The music never ends.’ (Tony Allen)
‘He's absolutely maybe in the top three musical influences in my life. Maybe the greatest musical influence, because of the simple depth of what he was teaching. It's cosmic.’ ?(Damon Albarn)
‘Tony is still here, in all of us – in anyone who met him or ever heard his music – and through that he lives on’ (Remi Kabaka)
Need to know
Under-14s must be accompanied by an adult
Dates & times
- Standard entry£30 – £50*
* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.
** Limited availability. Read about concessions.
Tickets can only be sold through the Southbank Centre and our authorised agents, and can't be resold. You can return your tickets to the Southbank Centre for a credit voucher up to 48 hours before the event. Tickets resold on any third-party platforms will become invalid.
Get presale tickets
Members get the first chance to book our entire programme of events, including go-down-in-history gigs, concerts with world-class orchestras, and talks from cultural icons and political giants.
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is open to all for access to the Level 2 foyers and toilets, Level 1 and Changing Places toilets, the National Poetry Library, Skylon, Riverside Terrace Cafe, Southbank Centre Shop and Members' Lounge at the following times:
Monday & Tuesday, 10am – 6pm**
Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 11pm
**On event days, the Royal Festival Hall building remains open until the end of the event.
Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. The nearest tube and train stations within 5 – 7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines). There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2– 5 minutes from our venues. For more information on getting here by road, rail or river, see below.
Pre-booking online is recommended. Check our website on the day for returns. There’s no need to print your e-ticket – just show your phone to our Visitor Assistants on entry.
Some free events don't require a ticket. Found an event labelled FREE on our website with no way to book? Simply turn up on the day.
If you don't receive your e-ticket
Check your spam folder for an email from [email protected] If you don’t receive your e-ticket within a few hours of booking, please get in touch.
Returns and exchanges
Tickets can be returned for a credit voucher or exchanged for another performance if they are received by the Ticket Office at least 48 hours before the performance.
Please, stay at home if you have symptoms of illness such as a cough, sore throat or fever or have tested positive for coronavirus. In this instance, get in touch with the Ticket Office at least 24 hours ahead of the performance for information on returns.
Southbank Centre credit vouchers can be exchanged for tickets to events and exhibitions, as well as related items such as books, programmes and catalogues sold through our website. They can also be used for Southbank Centre Memberships.
Toilets, including accessible toilets, are open on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall.
Situated on Level 1, our cloakroom is accessed via steps or platform lift from the Southbank Centre Square doors. It opens around 60 minutes before the start of any Royal Festival Hall show, and closes around 15 minutes after the performance ends.
The charge is £1 per item, which must be collected on the same day they are stored. Items left here are at the owner’s risk and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage, from any cause, to items left in the cloakroom.
Please note that we're unable to accept cash payments across our site.
Entering the hall
There may be short queues to enter the building and the auditorium. If you are not able to queue or need further assistance, our Visitor Assistants are here to help you.
For level access to the Royal Festival Hall, please use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square, Belvedere Road, to Level 2, and enter via Riverside Terrace. All floors are accessible from the main foyer.
We welcome wheelchair users and guide companion dogs.
Blue Badge holders and those with access requirements can be dropped off on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road (the road between the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery).
There are four Blue Badge parking spaces available for visitors located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to use. You must display your Blue Badge as you enter the site. Vehicles that do not display a Blue Badge are refused entry.
Blue Badge parking at National Theatre
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.
Please note: on Sunday when the National Theatre building is closed there is no step-free access from the car park.
Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.
Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.
A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.
Our Access Scheme
If you have any access requirements, please sign up to our Access Scheme for discounts, wheelchair spaces, dedicated seats and free companion tickets. You can also join our mailing list to get news about accessible events and exhibitions.