The festival will be held at the end of October in the soon-to-be-opened Boxpark restaurant and bar complex which is currently being constructed from shipping containers alongside East Croydon station.
The Mayor of London, said: “One of the things I love most about London is that its cultural gems are not just limited to the city centre. Around every corner of the capital there is something new and exciting to discover and Croydon is full of fantastic things to see and do.
“Having just been named the fastest growing economy in the UK, Croydon is fast emerging as a hub for culture and development thanks to the extensive regeneration it has been undergoing in recent years. Growing London’s cultural sector is one of my core priorities and I’m delighted to see top innovators and entertainers setting their sights on Croydon. Boxpark will be a great addition to the town centre and a festival of this scale and calibre is the perfect way for Croydon to really get itself noticed on the capital’s cultural map.”
The event is jointly promoted by cutting-edge promoters Eskimo Dance and the NMEand is supported and part-funded by Croydon Council as part of its ‘growth zone’ plans and ambitions to bring a new wave of culture to the town centre.
Appropriately, the Mayor’s visit to Croydon to help launch the event came in the week where the borough has been announced as having the fastest growing economy in the UK.
On Saturday 29 October the pop-up food and drink mall, constructed entirely from shipping containers, will see Eskimo Dance play host to a stellar line-up of grime’s finest.
Their bill is a who’s who of grime born out of the underground culture, includingWiley, Ghetts, Novelist, Solo45, Elf Kid, President T, P Money, Flirta D, Cadell, Merky Ace, Blakie, Splurgeboys, Mistajam, Preditah, Maximum, Rude Kid, Hatcha and BBC1 Extra DJ, Sian Anderson, who was at the launch event.
A secret guest and a special guest are still to be announced.
Stephen Campbell from Eskimo Dance says “We are ecstatic to be teaming up with Boxpark for their launch festival in Croydon. Following our recent successes touring across the UK and after the incredible Red Bull Culture Clash we’re excited to bring the grime sound home to London. Expect grime legends span across an energetic all-dayer!”
On Sunday 30th, NME will host a free showcase celebrating the future sounds of London with the best up-and-coming musical talent.
Their full line-up will be announced soon, but A2, Alfa Mist, Barney Artist, Club Kuru, Nova Twins and Tailr.Mde.Lvn are all confirmed to take to the stage.
NME editor-in-chief Mike Williams says: “At NME we’re passionate about championing emerging talent, grassroots scenes and the venues that nurture and support them. Partnering on the launch of this great new music space is the perfect opportunity for us to put that support into action. It’s an exciting event, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
Roger Wade, Director of Boxpark, said “We are delighted to announce our Boxpark Croydon Opening Festival. We hope to make Croydon one of the most exciting London boroughs and this is just the beginning of many events for the local community and wider areas. Expect everything from festival warm-ups to organic food markets, plus daily programmed events.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, commented “Croydon’s evolving faster than people can keep up with and seeing the names associated with this event is a brilliant sign of things to come. This is exactly why we’re supporting performance venues and the arts in general. In a few more years festivals like this should be a regular part of the town.”
With a capacity of 2,000 and 40 restaurants and bars.to choose from, Boxpark’s opening coincides with £30million refit of the Fairfield Halls, which are due to re-open in the summer of 2018.
Big name outlets already confirmed as being part of the Boxpark complex include MeatLiquor, Chilango, Mama Lan, and Breakfast Club.