This weekend is a big one in the Croydon events calendar, not least because it sees Croydon officially announce its bid to become London’s first ever Borough of Culture.
If successful this will bring over £2 million to Croydon for local venues, promoters, and organisations to invest in a huge programme of arts events throughout 2019. The details of how the bid is being prepared will be announced on Saturday afternoon just before the headline act at the Mela in Wandle Park, where thousands are expected to turn out to enjoy the day. Colors Croydon International Mela features big names from the Asian Music scene, including TazZz, H-Dhami, Tasha Tah, Raxstar, and Arjun. Transe Express and Dhol Academy will be rounding off the night with some spectacular trapeze and drumming performances, whilst earlier in the day there will be dance displays for all ages in the Aspara Arts’ Magic Mela and a carnival procession will makes its way around the park. The programme spans three stages, and the Mela includes the ever-popular Taste of Asia Food Market plus a quality bar.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “What better time to launch our Borough of Culture bid than from the main stage at one of the most exciting events of the year. I genuinely can’t think of another borough that has been on such a cultural roller coaster ride as Croydon. Re-investing in the arts is so important for the future of our borough. Borough of culture will cement our progress. 2019 will also be the first full year of operation for the new Fairfield Halls, and that means people are guaranteed to be in for a host of amazing events and performances as we celebrate the £30 million transformation of the halls and the space around them.”
For those looking for a different vibe, South Norwood is hosting a three-day festival of street art, street food, and electronic music. Concluding on Saturday, ‘Synthesis Festival’ is based in the heart of the district centre and features a host of top-name DJs and producers performing each night at Stanley Halls.
As well as this, the new four-floor Arts Store opened in the Whitgift Centre on Thursday night and now offers four floors of space for local artists to create, exhibit and run workshops, with a big focus on youth participation.