Street LIVE! initiative makes busking pay in Croydon

By - Tuesday 20th October, 2015

A new live music initiative involving performances in North End has been launched, with musicians performing to crowds over the weekend before performing at the Croydon Craft Beer Festival at Croydon Clocktower. Croydon BID, which runs the scheme, plans to make the event a regular occurrence.

Photo by Croydon BID, used with permission.

Release begins: Visitors to Croydon’s North End were given the first taste of a planned new series of regular, foot-tapping, musical treats on Friday and Saturday (October 16th-17th), when the Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) embarked on a new initiative designed to set fresh standards for busking and performing and promoting live music in the town centre.

Part of Croydon BID’s Street LIVE! entertainment programme, the venture involves a collaboration between Croydon BID, Croydon Council and licensed music venues in the heart of the town and aims to encourage regular quality music performances on the streets as well as boosting audience numbers in the evening.

The sound of music filled the air throughout both days as four separate acts – guitarists Julian Burdock, Dan Clarke and musicians Nick Howe and Stevie Appleton – strutted their stuff, entertaining the crowds with their vast and varied styles of music, before moving on to perform in the evening at Croydon Clocktower’s Braithwaite Hall, at the inaugural Croydon Craft Beer Festival.

As part of the BID’s initiative, budding and practised street musicians are being encouraged to register their interest in the scheme, which involves a set fee being paid to those invited to perform at one of the participating music venues on a Saturday evening. As a bonus, they will also be given the chance to perform twice during the day in Croydon’s North End pedestrianised area, as a means of promoting both the music venue and their evening’s performance, as well as raising money.

The idea has been developed to help attract high quality performers into Croydon town centre’s music venues while at the same time bringing regular entertainment onto the streets that will serve to leave visitors with a positive lasting impression of the town.

Further acts are already being scheduled in by the BID to perform broadly every fortnight from Saturday, October 31st and over ten future dates stretching into the New Year. Venues already supporting the initiative include The Oval Tavern and Hoodoos, at Matthew’s Yard and it is hoped that more licensees will get involved as interest from professional performers and customers increases.

“We are always on the lookout for new and ground-breaking ways of introducing something that’s positively different into Croydon town centre and we firmly believe that this street buskers’ initiative will hit the right note with practised and aspiring performers as well as those coming into the town centre, whether for work, business or pleasure,” said Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims.

“Tens of thousands of people come into Croydon every Saturday, so playing a couple of half hour sets during the course of the day is guaranteed to provide street performers with an incredible amount of exposure,” he added.

Esther Sutton, owner of The Oval Tavern added: “In my experience, musicians can sometimes lose out when a promoter promises them plenty of audience exposure only to turn the tables and charge them a fee when not enough people turn up to fill the audience.

“By pooling our resources and working together with Croydon BID and the Council, we feel this is a great way of attracting more and more great talent into the town and, perhaps more significantly, ensuring that the professional musicians who play here, get the money they deserve for the effort they put into their shows. Hopefully, as awareness and interest in the scheme grows, it will ensure everyone knows Croydon has an increasingly thriving live music scene.”

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, said: “One of the things the Council did through the Ambition Festival project was purchase a range of highquality PA equipment to allow performances to be put on professionally and affordably within the community. I’m delighted we are able to help support this excellent new initiative as a result and I’m sure performers and audiences alike will be equally delighted with the quality of the sound that the Street LIVE! stage will deliver.”

Anyone wishing to get involved in future events, is urged to get in touch with Shaun Webster, interim Head of Operations at Croydon BID on 020 8603 0055. Performers will be booked based on their ability and suitability for a wide range of audiences.

Release ends.

Release sender: Croydon BID.



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  • Anne Giles

    Oh dear. I have lost my singing voice, otherwise I would offer. :-( What a wonderful idea, though. :-)