Chart stars Soul II Soul, Grammy award-winning Tuareg rockers Tinariwen, and legendary dub-reggae producer Mad Professor have been announced as headliners for Croydon’s Ambition Festival this July.
A very special guest will join Mad Professor on stage when he plays the recently-upgraded Arnhem Gallery in the Fairfield Halls on Thursday 23 July to kick of the four-day festival.
Tickets are due to go on sale by the end of March.
Almost 100 other acts, including comedians, dancers and spoken word artists alongside bands and musicians are already booked to play in 30 different venues and outdoor stages across the long weekend in the town centre.
“This is all part of Croydon’s continuing journey to regain the cool factor. East London might be where most of the hipsters hang out right now, but you only have to look around to see that Croydon is where many of them live, making up part of our vibrant and diverse community. We’ve got loads of great venues and what this festival will showcase is why we’re brilliantly placed to become the next hotspot on London’s cultural landscape.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Craft stalls, street food and outdoor bars will all add to an eclectic festival vibe, and with much of the council-backed weekend being free entry, there will be a chance for everyone to experience the event, including those with families in tow.
Dance class sessions will take place on Saturday and Sunday for anyone wanting to find out how fit can be fun, and local dance students will be joined by professional dance troupes on Sunday 26th to show the crowds how it should be done.
Theatre will take place in The Spread Eagle pub, St Michaels Church and the Ashcroft Theatre, where the Debarred Theatre Company will be performing alongside Poetic Arts Media for a day of plays, spoken word, and song.
On the music front many firm festival favourites are spread across the bill – alongside handpicked emerging talent from across the UK, and established and emerging local performers.
Names that will be familiar to many music fans and regular festival-goers include Beans on Toast, New Groove Formation, Lazy Habits, Too Many Ts, Karl Phillips, Neck, King Size Slim, Lewis Floyd Henry, Skip MacDonald, Nick Harper, and former Terrorvision frontman, Tony Wright.
Hotly-tipped South London three-piece, Movie, will also be playing. Hailed in the national press as ‘the saviours of indie’ their infectiously quirky songs promise to be stuck in many people’s heads before the weekend is over.
One to watch from the Brit School is Natalie Shay. Natalie was one of the first acts booked to play at Ambition and recently performed live on the red carpet to VIP guests at the gala Brit Awards ceremony.
Swing Zazou and Flashmob Jazz will both be playing live at a night of increasingly-popular electro-swing, hosted by White Mink and featuring dancers from Swing Patrol. The Alternative Dubstep Orchestra will be appearing on the first night at the festival in the grand surroundings of Croydon’s Minster church.
Tickets for the bigger shows will go on sale in mid-April.
Local record labels One Tree Music, Great Sheiks and Air Balloon will all be showcasing their own artists and other parts of the programme are being presented by arts groups such as Polish Arts in London, Beats and Eats, and Faiths Together in Croydon.
The festival’s website can be found at www.ambitionfest.com.