2017 Events in the Recreation Ground


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Previous Events



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Bromley Concert Band - May 2017


More photos can be found on our Facebook Page


Community Carols - 18 December 2016


What's Christmas without a Brass Band?
Vocals: Bob Barnes - Chairman of Crystal Palace Progress Band


Lewisham Concert Band - 11 September 2016


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Bowie's Beckenham Oddity - 13 August 2016


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BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY
A festival celebrating the life and legacy of David Bowie and The Beckenham Arts Lab

Bowie fans and music lovers from Britain and beyond came together in Beckenham, south London on Saturday 13 August 2016, in the park where his rise to stardom took off in 1969.

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity took place at the bandstand at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground, where Bowie and his friends from the Beckenham Arts Lab organised The UK’s first Free Festival on 16 August, 47 years ago. The festival coincided with the release of David’s first hit single Space Oddity and was immortalised with another hit song, Memory Of A Free Festival.

This year’s event kicked off with a stellar line up of musical talent, who reprised lots of Bowie’s greatest songs including Life On Mars?, which he began to write while sitting on the bandstand steps. Featured artists include Malcolm Doherty, Daphne Guinness, Maggi Ronson, Phillip Rambow and Boe Huntress.

There was a welcome return from Amory Kane who played at the 1969 Free Festival and also at the 2013 and 2014 Memory of a Free Festival events organised at the bandstand by Beckenham resident Natasha Ryzhova Lau. The avant garde duo Raf & O were also welcomed back, following their performances in 2013 and 2014.

David’s co-founder and organiser of The Beckenham Arts Lab, Mary Finnigan, signed copies of her recently published book Psychedelic Suburbia.

The two Memory of a Free Festival events raised 16,000 towards the bandstand restoration fund. Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity organiser Wendy Faulkner says her aim this year was to raise even more.

“After the devastating news of David’s death in January we felt we had to do a tribute for him -- and there’s no more fitting place to do this than the bandstand where he played in 1969,” she said. “It’s not just about Bowie, but also all the people who were involved with him along his path to stardom”.

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity was supported by The London Borough of Bromley, which has named the bandstand in his honour. When enough money is raised, it will be restored to its former glory.

Other attractions this year included food and drinks by local caterers Dizzy’s Diner, plus market stalls. There was an auction of Bowie memorabilia at the end of the day.

Visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bowies.beckenham.oddity/


Iggy Pop signs a film poster to be auctioned at the event
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BeckRecFest - Sunday 10th July 2016


Crystal Palace Progress Brass Band - 22 May 2016


Lewisham Concert Band - 27 September 2015


BeckRecFest - Sunday 12th July 2015

This was a joint event with Dizzy's Diner and The Friends and raised 500 towards the bandstand renovation fund

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The Funky Chicks

   

Bromley Cheerleaders

 

Go Karts

 

Dread Centre - Reggae Band

   

Flower Stall

 

Paradigm - Rock Band

 

The Strawberries - Girl Band


Bromley Concert Band played on the Bandstand on Sunday 14th June 2015
during a concert sponsored and organised by The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground.

 

Memory of a Free Festival 2014
Same Place, Same Day, 45 years later

To the delight of David Bowie fans and music lovers at home and abroad, Memory of a Free Festival reprised on Saturday 16 August.
The date coincided exactly with the 45th anniversary of the legendary Free Festival organised in 1969 by Bowie and The Beckenham Arts Lab.


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More information about the event

The event has a Facebook page here

Media Coverage:


BBC Radio Kent Interview - 8th July 2014

Newshopper article - 2nd July 2014
Davidbowie.com Article - 4th August 2014
Newshopper article - 4th August 2014
Croydon Radio interview - 9th August 2014
BBC Radio Kent Interview - 10th August 2014
Newshopper article - 18th August 2014

Photos from the 2014 event


Bromley Concert Band played on the Bandstand on a glorious afternoon on Sunday 18th May 2014
during a concert sponsored and organised by The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground.

 

CELEBRATING DAVID BOWIE AND THE BECKENHAM ARTS LAB

The residential south of London may not conjure up visions of youthful exuberance and rock music but, on a very wet Sunday 15th September 2013, the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground were not disappointed when hundreds of people descended on the recreation ground to celebrate David Bowie - Beckenham's most famous former Beckenham resident, the legacy of the Arts Laboratory he co-founded, and the sensational Free Festival that Arts Lab members staged on the Bandstand in the park in 1969.


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Click here for more information

Many Thanks to...

Media Coverage:
The Independent
The Daily Telegraph
The Express
New Musical Express - NME
BBC Radio 4 -Today Programme
BBC Radio Kent - Breakfast with John Warnett and Clare McDonnell
BBC London News
BBC News website
@beckenhambowie

Photos of the event


Bromley Concert Band played on the Bandstand on a glorious afternoon on Sunday 19th May 2013
during a concert sponsored and organised by The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground.

 

Photographs above kindly provided by Roger M Stevens ARPS DPAGB


Some pictures from the Bandstand Marathon afternoon
9th September 2012
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Some pictures from Dizzy's Diner Family Fun Day
in conjunction with The Friends
15th July 2012
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The 'Hearts of Steel' steel band played in the bandstand on the afternoon of Sunday 18th September 2011 and the children were entertained by David Wilde with his Punch & Judy Show

 

Bromley Concert Band played in the Bandstand on the afternoon of Sunday 22nd May 2011 and the children were entertained by David Wilde with his Punch & Judy Show

 

Photos courtesy of Roger M Stephens ARPS


The Friends presented another afternoon of free family fun and music at the Bandstand on Sunday 30th May 2010 at which The Hares played some popular numbers. and Mr. Bonkers who created models from balloons for the children (and adults!)


Scenes from May Queens' Coronations on Saturday 1st May 2010

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The Friends presented an afternoon of free family fun and music at the Bandstand on Sunday 20th September 2009 at which Adelphi Rhode played a wide variety of music . The children were entertained by David Wilde with his Punch & Judy Show and Mr. Bonkers who created models from balloons for the children (and adults!)

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The large crowd who turned out to listen to Adelphi Rhode   Adelphi Rhode on the Bandstand

The Punch and Judy Show


On a VERY wet weekend in September 2008 Beckenham Family show and Country Fayre took place.
It was disappointingly deserted when these photos were taken.
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Children's Magic Show - click to enlarge   Archery demonstration - click to enlarge
     
Besom Maker at work - click to enlarge   Birds of Prey - click to enlarge

The Friends presented an afternoon of free family fun and music at the bandstand on Sunday 25th May 2008. The band played a mixture of Blue Grass, country and Irish music while the children were, as last year, entertained by Punch & Judy and an entertainer from the Big Hand company.
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Around the Bandstand - click to enlarge   Punch & Judy show - click to enlarge

Pictures from Beckenham and West Wickham Lions Fete, July 2007
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Large Slide - Click to enlarge   The Bandstand - click to enlarge

Picture from the May Queen Coronations 2007

Beckenham May Queen 2007

Beckenham Area May Queen, Georgina Bowen with her Prince Tiane Sauvage-Cole
(picture courtesy of Bromley Extra)


Pictures from the Beckenham Family Show, September 2006
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London Transport bus - Click on image for larger picture Bungee Jump - Click on image for larger picture Ferret and Gun Dog Show - Click on image for larger picture
Children's Slides - click on image for larger picture Children's Go-Karts - click on image for larger picture

The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground 2008 -