In 2008, Cuba Solidarity Campaign launched the Cuba50.org website as a hub for any event, large or small in the UK that aims to celebrate the best of Cuban culture and talent. In 2009 the Campaign launched a year long festival across Britain to celebrate Cuban culture in the 50th year of the Cuban revolution. It was under the banner Cuba50 – celebrating Cuban Culture, and had the support of many organisations and individuals. 

Cuba 50 festival and 2009 year of activities were supported by the Cuban Ministry of Culture, Cuban Embassy, Cuban Tourist Board, the Barbican, ComoNo, Music Fund for Cuba charity, Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Unison, Unite the union, Thompsons Solicitors, OH Parsons solicitors, Havanatour UK Ltd, Soy Cuba Contemporary Cuban Art, RMT, Durham Miners Association, Fire Brigades Union, PCS, TSSA, UK Cuban Salsa Festival 2010, Havana Club, Cuba Solidarity Campaign local groups, Cymru Cuba and other business, community and cultural organisations based in the UK and Cuba. Cuba50 logo was thanks to Phill Pennington, image used in logo thanks to photographer James Sparshatt.

More than 40,000 people attended the Cuba50 festival showcase events in June 2009 at London’s Barbican Centre , Gillett Square in Hackney, Hackney Empire  and Victoria Park – to see a range of Cuba’s finest acts Pablo Milanés, Harold Lopez Nussa and Son del Tropico, Yoruba Andabo, Changui de Guantanamo, Orquesta Aragon, Kumar, and Cuban artists based in the UK such as Osvaldo Chacon, Tumbao Tivoli, Omar Puente, London Lucumi Choir, Charanga del Norte and more.

Yoruba Andabo at Hackney Empire, Cuba50 festival June 2009
Cuba 50 / Blaze Barbican festivalLondon, June 09
Photo © Julio Etchart
Pablo Milanes at Cuba 50 / Barbican festival London, June 09 Photo © Julio Etchart
Cuba 50 / Blaze Barbican festivalLondon, June 09
Photo © Julio Etchart
Son del Tropico at Cuba 50 Barbican festival London, June 09 Photo © Julio Etchart

The festival also included a showcase of Cuban cinema, old and new at the Barbican cinema, and talks including Aleida Guevara (daughter of Che Guevara), Mariela Castro (director of CENESEX and campaigner on LGBT rights in Cuba) and top Cuban Film director Juan Carlos Tabio (co-director of iconic film ‘Strawberry and Chocolate’). 

Read the Press Release for the 2009 festival here – English version Cuba50_press_release_030609 /  Spanish_Cuba50_press_release_030609

View the Cuba50 Festival 2009 guide here cuba50brochure_web

Cuba50festivalprogramme2728June09View the Cuba 50 Festival June 2009 Programme here Cuba50programme_BarbicanweekendJune2009

View the Barbican Cuba50 film programme press release here and their press release about the special guests here Cuba_Talent_final


We also produced a special souvenir CD: CUBA: 50 Years of Revolutionary Rhythms. The CD 15 brilliant Cuban tracks, with the support of Bis Music, Tumi music and World Circuit.  View the CD booklet here Cuba50CD_booklet


Over the last 10 years Cuba Solidarity Campaign via the Cuba50 project has continued to encourage people to find out more about Cuban culture through the website news, reviews, and promotion of events around the UK, involving Cuban artists and musicians living in Cuba and in the UK.

We have worked with international projects such as Havana Cultura, major venues, music, film and dance festivals across the country and helped promote Cuban cultural excellence wherever we can.

This renovated site continues that celebration. People across the world have come to love Cuba through seeing and experiencing the island’s culture, born of hundreds of years of history and a rich mix of cultures.

If you would like to write an article, promote your Cuban cultural event or advertise with us please get in touch. office (at) Cuba50.org

Cuba50 is a project of Cuba Solidarity Campaign in the UK.

Watch a clip of Cuba50 music in Gillett Square Hackney in June 2009 here

Watch a clip of Changui de Guantanamo in Paradise Park London, part of Cuba50 festival,  in June 2009 here