Croydon’s summer of festivals 2015

By - Wednesday 3rd June, 2015

Croydon a cultural desert? Hardly! There’s a tidal wave of festivals and events coming our way this summer

Whether you’re a music lover, comedy enthusiast, culture vulture, heritage fan or someone who likes to keep it local, there’s a festival this summer to encourage you to take the plunge. Some of the programmes aren’t quite finalised as we’ve gone to press, but here are some highlights and headline features to encourage everyone to dip a toe in the water.

There’ll be big fish in the sea, with famous names and local stars: Richard Herring and Pappy’s at the Comedy Festival and Shakatak at Purley Festival along with acts like the Brothers of Mother Shovel and Debbie Bond taking part in the Ambition Festival. There are stars from the past too, as the Heritage Festival focuses on Croydon’s hall of fame: Amy Johnson, Arthur Conan-Doyle, David Lean, Malcolm Maclaren, Captain Sensible… the list goes on.

It’s set to be a summer of fun and excitement – so jump in for a swim with Croydon’s summer of festivals 2015!

New Addington People’s Carnival 13th – 14th June: fun, music and food on Milne Park playing field.

Croydon Comedy Festival 18th June – 13th August : based at the Oval Tavern but with events across Croydon, the deluge of laughs will include Richard Herring (12th and 13th August at the Oval), Pappy’s (18th June at the Oval) and Sarah Pascoe (6th August at the Oval). For bookings go to Bargains are available for hardcore comedy lovers: £32 buys you a ticket to all the shows on the Garden Stage at the Oval. See the festival’s Facebook page for details.

Croydon Heritage Festival 20th June – 28th June. Highlights this year include a celebration of the flower fairies, famous all over the world and created by Croydon artist Cicely Mary Barker, a screening of David Lean’s ‘Summer Madness’ starring Katherine Hepburn, a one-man homage to Sherlock Holmes, created by Norwood resident Arthur Conan-Doyle, and the chance to ride time-travelling trams.

Kick-off is on Saturday 20th June with Heritage Day in the town centre, featuring cultural delights from Bollywood dancing to jazz and Oscar Wilde. There’s a keen focus on the future too, with interactive events for children (Croydon Heroes, Book Buddies for under 7s, at Ashburton Library) and Croydon Future Day, 28th June – a chance to hear what local young people would do if they ruled the world.

Lots of events are free but some make small charges. For all bookings go to

Croydon Tattoo Convention 24th – 28th June: think ink at the Fairfield Halls. For more info go to

Crystal Palace Overground Festival 24th – 28th June. Highlights include a children’s sports festival, a tea dance and a recital by internationally acclaimed organist Thomas Trotter. For bookings go to

Croydon Food Festival 28th June – a celebration of all things foodie in Croydon’s South End: outdoor tables. demo kitchen, a live music stage and the chance to sample a smorgasbord of top quality local produce. To tantalise your tastebuds, take a look at

Purley Festival 29th June – 5th July: now in its fifth year, Purley’s highlights in 2015 include performances from Omar and Shakatak, performers from the BRIT School and a huge children’s festival area. For details go to

South Norwood Community Festival and Arts Festival Saturday 5th July. The festival features two live stages, Croydon’s celebrated Endurance Steel Orchestra, hog roast, beer tent, bouncy castle and real live firemen. For details go to

Thornton Heath Arts Week 18th – 25th July. Highlights include a scrum of poems on poetry night at Croydon-Streatham Rugby Club, open sessions from arts clubs and societies and a grand festival finale in St Paul’s church, Thornton Heath. For details go to

 Croydon Folk and Blues Festival 19th July: this regular event in the garden of Ruskin House will feature a Russian children’s choir, the Schiehallion Pipers, a bouncy castle and barbecue and of course bars stocked with real ale. For details go to

Ambition Festival 20th – 23rd July: Croydon’s biggest and most exciting musical celebration with action at venues across the borough including the Fairfield Halls and five free outdoor stages. There’s LOTS to get along to – find out more at

London Road Carnival 19th July. Held on the weekend of Eid-al-Fitr, the Muslim festival of ‘breaking the fast’, London Road will throw a fabulous multi-cultural party featuring games and rides for children, acoustic musicians and food from around the world.

International Playwriting Festival 5th – 6th June: a competition for playwrights from all over the world, then a showcase of the selected plays, this event offers play-lovers a fascinating chance to explore new writing. Now being managed by Warehouse Phoenix.

Air Balloon Garden Party Music Festival 29th – 30th August. A newcomer with big plans, this exciting new event will bring two days of Indie folk and blues to Rickman Hill Park in Coulsdon, along with a rodeo ride, surf simulator and lots of entertainment for children. You’ll also get money off your ticket if you make a contribution to Croydon Foodbank. Find out more at

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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  • Anne Giles

    All very exciting. We haven’t heard of any of the acts booked, although the Ambition Festival have organised an event at the Fairfield Halls. The band booked are the Tuareg band “Tinariwen” and they are fabulous. We have a CD of theirs and have seen them before. We would have gone to the South Norwood Community Festival, but already have tickets to the Southbank. The Croydon Food Festival is something we never miss and Purley Festival is a must, of course.