This October’s autumn half-term will be packed full of events in Croydon in the lead-up to the big festival weekend at Boxpark.
There will be free and family-friendly celebrations of Diwali, classical music and Croydon’s youth culture, as well as the next edition of Croydon’s Crafty Beer Festival and a 40th anniversary party for the birth of punk.
There’s also the first of a series of new live music events designed specifically to promote the potential of the borough’s night-time economy.
“It doesn’t matter if you are an old-school punk with fond memories of 1976, a fan of classical music, or someone who enjoys drinking a good craft ale whilst listening to jazz and blues – the end of October in Croydon will definitely entertain you.
“Croydon already has many great venues putting on imaginative and exciting shows, but we want to see more places putting on more events, and this programme of so many different things spread across the town really does show how much capacity we have.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Special events currently scheduled to take place between 13 and 31 October include:
– Crafty Beer Festival (13-15 October): The Crafty team are back and will be showcasing the best in craft ales and ciders in the Clocktower. Previous events have sold out – both of tickets and beer, so this is guaranteed to be another popular session. Live music is being supplied by Gastropub Live, and promises to bring some of the best talent in the region to the party.
– CROWD (21 October): St George’s Walk will be taken over for a feast of music and entertainment in the first of what promises to be a thrilling series of nights spread over coming months and co-funded by Croydon BID, designed to give Croydon’s nightlife a new boost. Expect street food, bars and some of the best bands on the touring circuit.
– New Rose: 40 Years of Croydon Punk (22 October): The space under the old Nestle tower (next to the iconic old Greyhound venue) will be turned into an outdoor exhibition featuring both new artwork and memorabilia from the period around 22 October 1976 when Croydon’s The Damned released the first ever punk single, New Rose. As well as a free launch event between 4pm and 6pm (also supported by Croydon BID) there will be a gig at The Oval Tavern in the evening.
– Diwali Mela (22 October): North End will come alive between noon and 5pm as Croydon celebrates the ancient Hindu ‘festival of lights’. A stage outside the Whitgift Centre will be the focal point for dancing and music, and you can expect some great Indian food and sweets as well.
– London Mozart Players (23 October): Croydon’s own orchestra have found a new home at St John’s church in Upper Norwood. Their first public performance is suitable for the whole family and runs from 3pm to 5pm. It’s free, but booking is advised.
– Croydon Youth Arts Collective (29 October): The action returns to the Clocktower complex in Katharine Street as local young people host a free day of music, theatre, film, art exhibitions, talks, workshops and much more besides. Every space in the building will be brought to life, and there will be surprises around every corner.
– Boxpark Opening Festival (29 – 30 October): Boxpark Croydon opens with a bang. The cream of London’s grime scene will be performing to celebrate the opening of this new 2,000 capacity performance space, which is packed with 40 restaurants, cafes and bars all crammed into shipping containers right next to East Croydon station. Tickets are on sale for Saturday, whilst Sunday (run by the NME) is free, although booking is still required to guarantee entry.