Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Brixton, London on Monday night (January 11) to celebrate the life David Bowie.
Bowie, whose death at the age of 69 was announced yesterday morning, was born and raised in the area, and people flocked to the area after news of an unofficial street party was announced on social media in the hours following his death.
People had been visiting a mural of the iconic musician painted on the side of Morleys department store all day to lay flowers and pay tribute, but from 6pm people started to gather in the public area outside The Ritzy cinema.
At first fans sang Bowie songs around people playing harmonica and acoustic guitars but soon amplified soundsystems were brought to the event, and people also swarmed around a local pub, The Prince of Wales, which placed a speaker outside a window, playing Bowie’s hits, such as ‘Heroes’.
To the sound of cheers from the crowds a firework was left off in the middle of the square as people danced outside The Ritzy, which had changed its hoarding to pay tribute to Bowie, reading “David Bowie, Our Brixton Boy, RIP.”
Mass singalongs songs happened throughout the night to Bowie’s best known songs, including ‘Rebel Rebel’, ‘Starman’ and ‘Suffragette City’, with fans chanting Bowie’s name during the breaks between songs, as people danced around the numerous speakers set up in the area.
Bowie passed away on Sunday (January 10) following an 18 month battle with cancer. He released his latest album ‘Blackstar’ last week (January 8) on his 69th birthday.
An official statement, published on Bowie’s Facebook page, read: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
Amid tributes, Germany has thanked Bowie for his contribution to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rough Trade have promised to donate profits on Bowie album sales to a cancer charity throughout January, and Brian Eno has talked about a last email from Bowie being – in hindsight – a moving goodbye.