A super-sized summer of festivals for Croydon’s Borough of Culture year
Croydon announces the line-up for its Summer Festivals series. Locals, Londoners, and visitors alike will find new reasons to explore the Borough as festival favourites return bigger and better for 2023, as part of ‘This is Croydon’, our year as The Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture.
From the vibrant Croydon PrideFest, spectacular Croydon Mela, and star-studded Croydon Carnival, to CR Talent, Croydon Food & Music Festival and the Croydon Stands Tall art trail, this year’s programme of Summer Festivals will showcase the very best of dance, music, art and culture in Croydon and beyond.
Croydon Food & Music Festival, Sunday 2 July
The community-centric Croydon Food & Music Festival will return to South End for a day of food and fun for all of the family. This year’s festival is set to be bigger and more vibrant than ever, with live music performances and delicious cuisine from across the globe, showcasing the best of Croydon’s culinary scene.
Rural Croydon, Tuesday 4 – Monday 31 July
The new exhibition at Thornton Heath Library will showcase local photographer and writer Ameena Rojee’s latest project ‘Rural Croydon’, an exploration of the conservational grazing taking place at the borough’s edges. As part of the exhibition, the library will also invite families to celebrate nature, woodland, and farming at the Croydon Fields Family Fun Day on Saturday 8 July.
CR Talent, Thursday 13 July
Croydon Music and Arts will join the This Is Croydon festivities with CR Talent, a new youth festival showcasing Croydon’s finest performers. Local school children from infant, primary and junior will take to the stage for the Schools Festival, whilst secondary pupils will be joined by special guests Still Shadey, Beeja, Kinetika Bloco, Arun Gosh and John Kenny to perform singalong hits from Stevie Wonder and Blur, to Croydon native, Stormzy.
Croydon PrideFest, Saturday 15 July
London’s second largest Pride festival, Croydon PrideFest, will return to Wandle Park for a Pride celebration to remember, super-sized this year with special headline acts. Festival goers can expect electric performances from the kings and queens of drag, pop and alternative queer culture, as well as unique food and drink offerings from local vendors.
Croydon Mela, Sunday 16 July
Croydon Mela will invite visitors from London and beyond to celebrate the culture of Croydon’s diverse Asian communities whilst enjoying a spectacular international line-up. Visitors can expect show-stopping performances from headliner H-Dhami and Muslim Drag Queen Asifa Lohara, as well as artists Sahara, Tariq Khan, Mona Singh, The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and St Georges Bhangra team, and an expanded community dance programme hosted by Croydon based Anush Subramanyam of Beeja Dance. With extraordinary music and dance performances, interactive workshops, and a melting pot of food and craft stalls, there is something for everyone at the cross-cultural celebration.
Croydon Carnival, Sunday 30 July
Croydon Carnival will be louder and prouder this year; for the first time ever, the carnival will parade through Croydon’s centre, whilst a star-studded line up will entertain at its London Road base. Well-known 90s UK garage duo Artful Dodger are set to headline the main stage, along with soul artist Ivy Chanel and singer, actor and voiceover artist Kelly Agbowu, plus uplifting performances from the Brit School and local dance groups.
Croydon Stands Tall, Monday 21 August – Tuesday 27 October
Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), in collaboration with creative producers Wild in Art, will present Croydon Stands Tall, a 10-week free art trail that will celebrate vibrancy, culture and creativity in Croydon. Taking place from 21 August to 27 October, the event will see the arrival of 30 giant giraffe sculptures and 30 baby giraffe sculptures across Croydon town centre, uniquely designed by local artists, schools, and community groups. Croydon Stands Tall will host an auction at its end, raising funds for Crisis Croydon Skylight.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “This summer we celebrate the rich communities of the borough with our Summer of Festivals including Croydon PrideFest, Croydon Mela, a star-studied London Road Carnival, Croydon Food and Music Festival and Croydon Stands Tall. This summer is our opportunity to tell the rest of London, and indeed the UK, our big, bold story of the community pride we all have in Croydon. “
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Croydon has put together a fantastic line up of events this summer as the London Borough of Culture, including the second largest Pride Festival in the capital, events to celebrate the borough’s diverse communities and a showcase of the creativity of young people. This Is Croydon will bring together groups and collaborators from across the borough, inspire young people and support grassroots creativity as we continue to build a better London for everyone.”
This is Croydon is delivered through a unique collaboration between cultural organisations and people of the borough in partnership with Croydon Council.
The London Borough of Culture is the flagship cultural policy from the Mayor of London, and is supported by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.