David Bowie Festival 2018

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY is an annual fundraiser, supported by David Bowie when he provided signed items for auction at the event.

Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund.

More below…

 

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY/BANDSTAND DAY 2018
Saturday, 11th August – 12 noon to 8.30pm
Croydon Road Recreation Centre, Beckenham, BR3 3PR

“Someone passed some bliss among the crowd…”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity continues…..

 

Tickets: http://bowiesbeckenhamoddity.com/tickets
Email: bowiesbeckenhamoddity@gmail.com
Mobile: 07538 984631

 

David Bowie Festival 2017

BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY is an annual fundraiser, supported by David Bowie when he provided signed items for auction at the event.

This year the Bowie Archive has donated another item signed by him, more details of which will follow before the festival in August.

Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund.

More below…

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BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY/BANDSTAND DAY 2017
Saturday, 12th August – 12 noon to 8pm
Croydon Road Recreation Centre, Beckenham, BR3 3PR

“Someone passed some bliss among the crowd…”

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity continues…..

In 1969 a young curly haired man who went by the name of David Bowie co-organised a festival at Croydon Road Recreation Ground, South London. He even later went on to immortalise that day in his song ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’, which also appeared on his Space Oddity album. Bowie fans worldwide – join us in celebrating the life and musical legacy of David Bowie, The Growth Summer Festival of 1969, The Arts Lab, The Spiders From Mars and beyond….

Our celebratory day promises to be better than ever with food and drink, market stalls, merchandise, face painting plus a Bowie themed raffle and auction. This year’s festival kicks off at midday. Our line-up will be announced shortly, so watch this space: http://smarturl.it/BowieBandStand

Tickets are £10 (under 10’s free) and all money raised will go to the Bandstand Restoration and Plaque Fund.

At last year’s event Bowie fans united from around the world and helped raise over £17,250 for the project. The Edwardian bandstand in Beckenham (now named the Bowie Bandstand), will always be the ideal place to honour his memory (especially in the Beckenham/Bromley area), as well as being an important part of local history.

This is the first Festival anniversary year without Bowie. In 2016 we were all shocked by the news of his death as for many of us he was the soundtrack to our lives. His musical legacy continues and will gain new generations of fans around the globe for many years to come. The Oddity event organiser, Wendy Faulkner, had this to say:

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“Aylesbury will soon have a Bowie statue as a lasting tribute to the great man, Brixton also has its mural. And so we need the Bowie Bandstand in Beckenham fully restored in his honour and for all the other musicians that performed at that original event of 1969.

Bowie will always be loved and sadly missed by millions of people worldwide, so let’s get this bandstand restored!”

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Tickets: http://smarturl.it/BowieBandStand
Email: bowiesbeckenhamoddity@gmail.com
Mobile: 07538 984631

The event is supported by London Borough of Bromley Council and sponsored by Lollipop Events

“We’re gonna have a party…”

David Bowie Festival 2013

MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL

“…The Sun machine is Coming Down, and we’re Gonna Have a Party…” 

Bowie It raineth 01

CELEBRATING DAVID BOWIE AND THE BECKENHAM ARTS LAB.

Sunday afternoon in the park in the residential south London town of Beckenham may not conjure up visions of youthful exuberance and rock music – but on Sunday September 15th, 2013  in Croydon Road Recreation Ground hundreds of people enjoyed typical Glastonbury style rain to celebrate David Bowie – Beckenham’s most famous former resident, the legacy of the Arts Laboratory he co-founded, and the sensational Free Festival that he and Arts Lab members staged on the Bandstand in the park in 1969.

The Festival was “free” as the modest entry fee of £5 plus donations were collected to raise funds to restore the historic bandstand which:

  • was opened in 1891 by Beckenham’s recently celebrated Tom Thornton
  • 21 years later, was used by Beckenham’s Harold Bride – the hero of the Titanic – to address cheering crowds in the park.
  • and for most of the 20th Century, witnessed civic and royal ceremonies, balloon flights and flower shows which rivalled Chelsea in popularity.

Today in an age of austerity there are not council funds to pay for repairs and it was left to Natasha Ryzhova, a Bowie fan from Russia, to galvanise the Friends of Croydon Road Rec into action. In her room in Moscow, Natasha kept a copy of the iconic photo of the young curly headed Bowie on her wall. When she moved to Beckenham a few years ago, she was surprised and delighted to find that, virtually on her doorstep, was Bowie’s bandstand; but aghast at its condition. So she persuaded the Friends to stage an event similar to the original Free Festival.

Members of the Arts Lab some 40 years ago were encouraged to do their own thing and this ethos underlined the 2013 event. As well Bowie classics created and performed during  Bowie’s five years in Beckenham from 1969 to 1973, the seven groups taking part (some 70 musicians in total) played much of their own original music.

All the performers  quoted David Bowie as their inspiration to take up music and they played for free. As a result over £900 was raised to repair the roof on the bandstand.

The 2013 Free Festival provided over 3 hours of live music from 3 to 6.30 pm. The performers taking part included:

The Thin White Duke a Bowie tribute group which played 5 Bowie numbers including Life on Mars and Space Oddity – both of which have links to the band stand.

Bill Liesegang  Bowie’ s own tribute to the 1969 event song – Memory of a Free Festival

Amory Kane who flew in from the USA to reprise some of the songs he performed in the 1969 Free festival.

Others taking part were  Raf and O, Keval, Low Rent Tractors, Scott Fuller and John Aldington.

Have a look at the picture gallery here

and some video here

Bowie Festival 2013 Picture Gallery

BHG Events Memories of a Free Festival 2013 photos

The following were taken by Cliff Watkins  who organised the previous Beckenham tribute to Bowie in October  2002  when a Plaque was fixed to the wall of the Three Tuns Pub in the High Street where members of the famous Arts Lab met, mused and performed from 1969 to 1974.

Please see moments of the December 2001 ceremony filmed by EditPoint  here

The Unveiling of the Plaque on the Three Tuns pub was by Arts Club founder Mary Finnigan who also introduced the Free Festival concert in Croydon Road Rec in 2013.

There is some video of the event filmed by Cliff Watkins here.

Click on any image to see a slideshow. Click on right hand side of expanded image to advance or left hand side to go back

 

David Bowie Concert 2014 Picture Gallery

David Bowie Concert 2016

Concert 05

Last Saturday, 13th August 2016, a thousand Bowie fans arrived in Croydon Road Recreation Ground in Beckenham from all over the World.  (Photo by Cliff Watkins)

They were in the park to enjoy the third concert to raise funds to restore the Bandstand made famous by David Bowie’s Free Festival  in 1969.  This year’s  giant gig  began at noon and the crowds were still in the park at 7 pm and well over £10,000 was raised towards the restoration of Bowie’s bandstand which ,we were told, needed £100k to restore.  Including the previous two concerts in 2013 and 2014, The ‘Friends of the Bandstand’ have now raised some £25k.

This year the fans refused to go home and were treated to an evocative rendering of vintage Bowie songs sang by his music colleagues who been with him on the bandstand in 1969.  This was followed by an auction of donated Bowie memorabilia and signed photos, and a message from Tony Visconti thanking Wendy Faulkner for organising the event.

Meanwhile, cash strapped Bromley Council has just launched a Crowd Funding appeal for funds.

Here is some video of the 2016 event filmed by Cliff Watkins.

David Bowie Festival 2016

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Info from https://www.facebook.com/bowies.beckenham.oddity/

BECKENHAM FUNDRAISER TICKETS ON SALE NOW
“And away they soared…”
Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity is an annual fundraiser which David Bowie supported by providing signed items for auction at the event.
This year the Bowie Archive has donated another item signed by him, more details of which will follow before the festival in August.
Money raised goes to the Bandstand Restoration & Plaque Fund.
Meanwhile here’s the press release, with ticket links, etc…
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BOWIE’S BECKENHAM ODDITY
A festival celebrating the life and legacy of David Bowie and The Beckenham Arts Lab
Bowie fans and music lovers from Britain and beyond will come together in Beckenham, south London on Saturday 13 August 2016, in the park where his rise to stardom took off in 1969.
Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity will take place at the bandstand at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground, where Bowie and his friends from the Beckenham Arts Lab organised The UK’s first Free Festival on 16 August, 47 years ago. The festival coincided with the release of David’s first hit single Space Oddity and was immortalised with another hit song, Memory Of A Free Festival.
This year’s event kicks off at 1.00 pm with a stellar line up of musical talent, who will reprise lots of Bowie’s greatest songs including Life On Mars?, which he wrote while sitting on the bandstand steps. Featured artists include Malcolm Doherty, Daphne Guinness, Maggi Ronson, Phillip Rambow and Boe Huntress.
There’s a welcome return from Amory Kane who played at the 1969 Free Festival and also at the 2013 and 2014 Memory of a Free Festival events organised at the bandstand by Beckenham resident Natasha Ryzhova Lau. The avant garde duo Raf & O are also welcomed back, following their performances in 2013 and 2014.
David’s co-founder and organiser of The Beckenham Arts Lab, Mary Finnigan, will be signing copies of her recently published book Psychedelic Suburbia.
The two Memory of a Free Festival events raised £16,000 towards the bandstand restoration fund. Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity organiser Wendy Faulkner says her aim this year is to raise even more.
“After the devastating news of David’s death in January we felt we had to do a tribute for him — and there’s no more fitting place to do this than the bandstand where he played in 1969,” she says. “It’s not just about Bowie, but also all the people who were involved with him along his path to stardom”.
Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity is supported by The London Borough of Bromley, which has named the bandstand in his honour. When enough money is raised, it will be restored to its former glory.
Other attractions this year include food and drinks by local caterers Dizzy’s Diner, plus market stalls. There will be an auction of Bowie memorabilia before the end of the day at 7.00pm.
Tickets for the event cost £10 (under tens free) and are available on the day or in advance here now: http://smarturl.it/BBO2016Tickets
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For the latest information please use our contact form  or call Cliff Watkins on 020 8650 7347

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