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Crystal Palace Park could be getting a 45,000-person festival from the organisers of Reading and Leeds

Plans have been submitted for a new event next year

By
Laura Richards
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Two major festivals are being considered for Crystal Palace Park next year, with Festival Republic – the organisers of several major UK festivals including Latitude, Wireless and Reading and Leeds – submitting a request to Bromley Council.

The festival promoter and producer has put forward plans for two 45,000-capacity events on consecutive weekends in July next year, planning to take over the upper terraces of the park. It’s also submitted a case for further events in 2022 and 2023. Not much more is known about the festivals, at present, although they would likely involve major live music acts (remember them?). 

Crystal Palace Park Trust revealed the developments and gave its support to the project, stating that it would bring ‘significant funding’ for the park’s regeneration along with community projects. The trust has been actively seeking event proposals that could further benefit its work as well as bring ‘fantastic musicians’ to the area. 

‘We are really pleased to see this proposal from Festival Republic and keen to support these exciting events,’ said co-chair of the Crystal Palace Park Trust, Martin Tempia. ‘Not only will it bring some great acts to the area and restore Crystal Palace Park’s reputation as an important venue for events, but a generous proportion of the income generated will go to support environmental, educational and cultural initiatives for the benefit of the park and local residents.’ The trust added that Festival Republic have proposed a free event for schools on one of the festival’s stages.

Festival Republic is said to be making a formal licence application to the London Borough of Bromley this week, which would then undergo a 28-day consultation. ‘Crystal Palace Park is such a wonderful venue for live music. We’re fully aware of its heritage in this respect and believe we can be a positive part of its future,’ said the promoter’s managing director, Melvin Benn. 

Crystal Palace Bowl in the park once hosted the likes of Elton John, Pink Floyd and Lou Reed on its stage, and recently got the green light for a blue plaque to commemorate a 1980 performance by Bob Marley & The Wailers – the largest-ever UK gig from the reggae group and Marley’s last date in London. The Bowl has been unused for some years now, but this news could see live music make a long-awaited comeback to the leafy south-east London neighbourhood. 

Missing live music? The Barbican has some dates back in the diary

And both Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz Cafe have announced their return, too.    

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