This year’s flagship music showcase takes place at a newly renovated St. George’s Hall, with rap royalty, fierce poetry, and the experimental underground coalescing for an unforgettable evening of lyrical artistry.

Lady Leshurr brings the flair of her infectious Queen’s Speech freestyles to headline. The MOBO award-winning grime and hip-hop vocalist is famous for her playful delivery and fearless character, switching between battle-rap witticisms to bars about mental health without skipping a beat.

No-one pushes the envelope like Saul Williams, whose career spans well beyond 20 years and boasts avant-rap albums, slam poetry success, Sundance-winning feature films and Broadway theatre. The legendary American’s magnetic presence is globally renowned.

King Midas Sound pairs returning poet Roger Robinson with electronic dub maverick Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug). The duo fuse devastating spoken word with melancholic ambience on their immersive, vulnerable new album, Solitude.

Having played resident DJ to the Akala and Lowkey show last year, NikNak returns to BLF to hold down the ones-and-twos in reliably fine style.

Each act is a master of their own domain, so this is not a night to be missed!


This year we are excited to launch our new B-Lit Programme for young people aged 13 – 18, made possible by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Look out for events marked with the B-Lit stamp as they are free for anybody aged 18 or under.




About The Performers

Lady Leshurr

If the royal monarchs organised a search for the new queen of British rap, it’s certain that all roads would lead toward Lady Leshurr. She has performed sold out shows from New York to Brixton and attracted the attention of international hip-hop heavyweights like Timbaland, Erykah Badu, and Busta Rhymes.

Saul Williams

Saul Williams has been breaking ground since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, which was released in 2001. After gaining global fame for his poetry and writings at the turn of the century, Williams has performed in over 30 countries and read in over 300 universities, with invitations that have spanned from the White House to the Sydney Opera House.

King Midas Sound

King Midas Sound is the duo of poet Roger Robinson and Kevin Martin (aka The Bug). Releases on Hyperdub and Ninja Tune set the blueprint for their sound: a mutant blend of electronic lovers’ rock, dub and narco hip-hop. Solitude, their new album, is a meditation on loss. The duo plough a lonely furrow of minimal ambience and haunting melancholia in tone poems that radiate isolation and dread. Their live show explores the possibilities of spoken word, deep listening and low volume ambience to create an inward-facing intensity that demands total immersion.


NikNak is a UK-based DJ & turntablist who specialises in playing eclectic styles of music in her sets, incorporating self-recorded soundscapes and multi-channel performances. Presenting at BBC Radio Leeds and affiliated with House of Verse in Leicester, Girls That Gig and SlutDrop, she’s shared bills with the likes of Cakes Da Killa, DJ Format and Chynna.