The iconic Crystal Palace Bowl in South London has hosted legendary artists such as Pink Floyd and Bob Marley. Established in 1961, the bowl is now celebrating its 60th birthday and back in the 60s its famous ‘Garden Party’ events were electric. Sadly, this striking venue has lain dormant for more than a decade and over that time has fallen into a state of disrepair.
#BackTheBowl: The Campaign for Stage Production
The Crystal Palace Park Trust set up a crowdfunding page just one month ago and has already raised an incredible £56,375, although this response is unsurprising due to a public thirst for live events after a year in lockdown. The Crystal Palace Park Trust recently registered the stage as an Asset of Community Value, and is now determined to reboot the 'Rusty Laptop’- as it’s affectionately known by locals. With the public support, first steps of the refurbishment would begin in May with the aim of having the stage back to its former glory and capable of staging live events by September 2021!
What will be delivered?
The current stage flooring is rotten, broken and unsafe; a splinters paradise. The first step of the renovation is to remove the current stage flooring, which in itself is a monumental task. The next step will be to replace the stage flooring, and given the legends that will inevitably treads the boards, it needs to look remarkable. The Crystal Palace Park Trust will be replacing this supreme stage with long lasting Ekki timber flooring, meaning it can handle all the killer performances it will be graced with in the future. The final step is to bring back to life the essential back-of-house services and facilities where the likes of Elton John and Vera Lynn have sat in preparation for their performances.
Why is it so important?
The Crystal Palace Park Trust project will revive an iconic yet unused space in the historic Crystal Palace Park, giving the opportunity for surrounding communities to once again celebrate and enjoy a landmark on their doorsteps that’s unlike any other in London. There has been huge support and love from many walks of life to rescue this beloved landmark, including the Mayor of London, Sidiq Khan.
The Concert Bowl itself is a striking, sculptural piece of public architecture; designed by Ian Ritchie Architects as a replacement to the original name back in 1991 and nominated for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize. We totally agree that this needs to be given a second chance to provide joy and entertainment, especially after the year we’ve all had.
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