In 2021, thanks to an impressive #BackTheBowl campaign led by the Crystal Palace Park Trust, over £60,000 was raised to renew the iconic stage at the Crystal Palace Bowl and create a new community focused space in the park that enabled the return of live music and performance.
Previously nominated for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize, the open-air concert bowl has always been a striking, sculptural piece of public architecture but the stage had been dormant for more than a decade and fallen into a state of disrepair. The #BackTheBowl campaign resulted in the renewal of the space and the return of live performances – including a brand new festival called South Facing.
Drawing on the rich musical heritage of the Bowl (previous performers have included Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and Elton John) the first South Facing festival was a huge success welcoming The Streets, Supergrass and the English National Opera to name just a few.
Building on that momentum, this year’s festival runs from 29th July to 7th August and now incorporates 5 Weekend Concerts (headlined by well-known acts), 4 weekday Sundown Sessions as well as South Facing Presents… (an off-site sister gig in Limehouse0.
Whilst free and discounted tickets for local residents (for the Weekend Concerts) have all now been allocated, there are still a mixture of general and VIP tickets available. Sundown Sessions are non-ticketed (and free for everyone).
You can find fuller details on all the acts below, but for more information or to book your ticket, CLICK HERE.
29th July: London Grammar (plus George Fitzgerald, Tora-I, OKLOU)
This English trio, who met at university, craft incredible electronic pop fused with dramatic, haunting vocals. It’s the sort of sound for which our stunning natural amphitheatre was built. From their first smash-hit single ‘Hey Now’ (released on YouTube in 2012) to their latest album, 2021’s Californian Soil, Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman, and Dot Major have kept their audience hooked with soulful tracks that deliver on emotion and epic sound. The bandmates collaborate to produce chart-topping albums, with songs like ‘Wasting My Young Years’ and ‘Hell to the Liars’ becoming fast fan favourites.
30th July: Jungle (plus Kelly Lee Owens, The Avalanches, Nine8, Skinny pelembe, poison Anna)
One of the most-important electronic acts to emerge from England in the last decade, Jungle is a creative collaboration from two childhood friends. The Mercury-nominated, iconic production duo are now making music that’s bigger, bolder and more ambitious than ever.
5th August: Bombay Bicycle Club (plus Jordan Rakei, Nilüfer Yanya)
Proving their worth on festival bills across the world for the last 16 years, and giving us the goods that have sounded our coming-of-age and beyond, who better to steer us through an indie musical journey this August than Bombay Bicycle Club!
6th August: Richard Ashcroft, Ride, BDRMM, Tess Parks, Steve Lamacq, Alan McGee)
Richard Ashcroft, who first shot to acclaim as the singer in The Verve, one of the most innovative and spellbinding bands on the British pop scene. After two successful records, “A Storm in Heaven” and “A Northern Soul”, the band truly captured the nation’s hearts with their all-conquering third album “Urban Hymns”, which spawned classic hits such as “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Lucky Man.” The album led to Ashcroft winning The Ivor Novello Songwriter Of The Year Award and earned the band two Brit Awards and a front cover for Rolling Stone Magazine. Since then, Ashcroft has carved out an illustrious solo career, starting with 2000’s “Alone with Everybody” and hit single “A Song For The Lovers.”
7th August: Becky Hill + Sinéad Harnett (plus Jodie Harsh, Jaguar Skills, DJ Cartier & B-Live, Charlie Boon)
After two nominations at the 2022 Brit Awards (taking home ‘Best Dance Act’ on the night) Becky Hill is finally getting the recognition she deserves. To date, she’s notched up 12 Top 40 hits on the Official Singles Chart, including one Number 1 (Gecko) and worked with a with a huge range of artists including Rudimental, Oliver Heldens and Wilkinson.
THE SUNDOWN SESSIONS
Taking place from 1st to 4th August, The Sundown Sessions are all FREE and non-ticketed courtesy of a partnership with the Crystal Palace Festival team and funding from Arts Council England.
1st August: Schools Showcase with The Norwood School, Kingsdale Foundation School & Harris Academy South Norwood plus Spirit of the Estate.
This show is produced by young people from local schools and will feature bands and artists from the schools in the Crystal Palace area. Funded by Arts Council England these young producers are proud to showcase the best talent from our local schools. Also presenting their work are the amazing Spirit of the Estate youth crew from Kingswood estate who have been working very hard to create this show with Grounded Movement. Grounded Movement and their incredible street dancers present Ragtime to Grime during this very special show.
2nd August: Youth Showcase with Raw Materials, Croydon Music and Arts, Bromley MyTrain and School Ground Sounds
This show is produced by young people who are from the five boroughs that meet in Crystal Palace and have been involved with our partners Raw Materials, Croydon Music and Arts, Bromley MyTrain and School Ground Sounds. Funded by Arts Council England this show will feature the best young talent from southeast London
3rd August: Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave
Don’t miss this huge family rave – a creative and exciting music and dance party for the post-rave generation of parents and kids!
4 August: Crystal Palace Voices Remixed
Crystal Palace Voices Remixed, features London Mozart Players, About Crw, The St Pauls, Silvastone and Scrimshire. Fiona Brice, composer and arranger is rescoring these artists’ work for performance with London Mozart Players at this exciting cross generation and genre bending show!
SOUTH FACING PRESENTS…
13th August: Kamasi Washington + Ezra Collective (held at Troxy, London)
A modern-day jazz pioneer, Kamasi Washington is a unique artist who’s loved by critics and concert-goers alike. His debut album won numerous awards, including the inaugural American Music Prize and the Gilles Peterson Worldwide album of the year. Introducing jazz to new audiences, he’s collaborated with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, John Legend and Run the Jewels and arrives at South Facing with a reputation for electric live shows. Co-headlining this show is Ezra Collective. The genre-bending sound of this British new jazz outfit first found a home in the dynamic London jazz scene, but it was the release of their debut album, 2019’s You Can’t Steal My Joy, that helped them break the jazz mould.