Croydon’s July Ambition Festival slowly emerges


Details of the Croydon’s Town Centre based Ambition Festival  Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 July are beginning to slowly emerge.

Its website states:

An eclectic four-day mix of performances and installations in the heart of South London. Curated by cultural champions, expect to be absorbed by music, theatre, comedy, dance, and the visual arts. Many stages around Croydon town centre will be free of charge, but most evening shows in the Fairfield Halls and some other venues will require tickets or weekend wristbands.

Promoters, record labels, arts magazines or cultural embassies who are interested in curating stages should get in touch using the form below. we’re also happy to hear from sponsors, volunteers or individual performers and bands.’

Several submissions, including four jazz events (Daniel Bechet – son of Sidney, an  Ella Fitzgerald show, Tony Remy and Gary Crosby) I and jazz promoter Ra Hendricks have proposed, have been rejected as not fitting in with John Bownas, the Council officer organiser’s concept for the Festival.

His explanation:

‘….  I do need to do is keep a clear idea of who I’m pitching the festival at and what it is about. I’m not sure this proposal fits with the more contemporary mainstream culture image we are trying to develop. I do have a few theatre options (as well as dance, comedy, spoken word, etc) I’m exploring right now, but these are typically shows which would have a broad appeal so that people who have maybe come along for one of the other parts of the festival would explore them too. I think what you have in mind is something very much more targeted at a particular interest group. …. If I open it up too much there is a danger of diluting the brand as we’d have to re-evaluate the marketing to reach out to different audiences.’ 

So if you intend to submit a proposal do bear this explanation in mind.

See also Council press release at


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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