Beats and Eats kicks off live summer street-music events

By - Friday 15th June, 2018

Live music and poetry readings combine with local food vendors for summer fun in Croydon

Local musicians sing at the Beats and Eats launch event.
Photo author’s own.

Live music performances and local food stands are hitting the streets of Croydon this summer. On 7th June, the newly pedestrianised High Street launched the first of bi-weekly street-music events planned for the summer months. The Beats and Eats event featured a local pizza vendor and live performances, including entertainment from several local musicians and poetry readings from the group What You Saying?

Neil Ridulfa, a co-founder of Beats and Eats, says people are drawn to the event by the food, but ultimately stay for the music.

“Everyone here is getting a valuable and unique experience”, Ridulfa said. He stressed the value of shared spaces in urban areas, highlighting the importance of building community in the borough.

A man whose shirt proclaimed him as ‘Bernard, the Dancing King of Croydon’ enjoyed dancing during the festivities.
Photo author’s own.

The idea for a street-music event originally came from a 2013 baking competition in Croydon that Ridulfa entered as a contestant. The contest drew a large crowd, including future fellow Beats and Eats co-founders Ian and John. The three were inspired by the audience and thought, if a public baking contest could draw in such large numbers, why couldn’t a street festival with live music?

The group began monthly events at Matthews Yard and expanded to partner with Project B and the Croydon Food Festival to host performances. It also provides music for Surrey Street Sundays at the market. The Beats and Eats series this summer is sponsored by Street Live, a programme supported by Croydon Council and Croydon Business Improvement District. This programme’s goal is to revive the high street area.

“I think that it’s just been crying out for something to happen on it”, Ridulfa said of the high Street. “[It is] an alternative hub for Croydon.”

He ended on the note that, while some say that the performances are only music or art, the event has long-term importance as it creates connections that build resilient communities.

Beats and Eats will be taking over the High Street every other Thursday until 20th September, as part of a summer programme of events. To find out more, click here.

Myra Rademacher

Myra Rademacher

Myra is interning at the Croydon Citizen as part of her university degree in Agricultural Communication. Originally from Oregon, she is spending two months in London studying journalism. She's a fan of travelling abroad and practicing Spanish, and while at home she helps on her family farm raising show pigs.

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