Boxpark to host free family events after questions over Council funding of launch festival
Croydon Council says it has asked Boxpark to host a series of free family events later this year after questions were raised over Croydon Council’s funding of the mall’s opening festival.
Boxpark is due to host a two-day opening festival on October 29 and 30 this year, with artists including grime stars Wiley, Ghetts and Novelist, in collaboration with the NME and grime music promoters Eskimo Dance.
But the council says that its own free, family-friendly Ambition festival will not return this year, with Boxpark due to host the launch event instead.
The council has provided a £3 million loan to Boxpark, as well as a £61,000 annual grant for the five years it is due to be on the Ruskin Square site.
A further £160,000 was earmarked in the council’s budget this year for Ambition festival to be staged, though it is unclear whether that money will go towards any events put on by Boxpark.
And though there will be free performances on October 30 at the Boxpark launch festival, tickets for the main Saturday event are priced between £15 and £30.
A spokesman for the council said: “We’ve always said we were partnering with Boxpark to put on a town centre festival this year. Ambition proved there was a huge appetite for a festival, but the aim was to move away from the council doing the staging and organising itself.
“Boxpark’s team are in a really strong position to produce these sorts of events, and the calibre and popularity of the names recently announced, together with the tie-in they have achieved with the NME, demonstrates this perfectly.
“As well as the two-day festival in October, which is free on Sunday, we’ve also asked Boxpark to host a series of free, family events later this year.”
Last year’s Ambition festival was hailed as a big success
The council did not reply when asked whether any of the £160,000 would go towards the launch event.
An application for a premises licence was submitted for Boxpark on September 5 and is due to be considered by the council in due course.