Beckenham's David Bowie donates to bandstand he once played on at first ever 'Free Festival'

Photo courtesy of Mary Finnigan, who organised the first festival with Bowie

Amory Kane, Mary Finnigan, and Natasha Ryzhova Lau

First published in News
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Beckenham's David Bowie is making another donation to the restoration fund for a bandstand where he once performed.

The star, who now lives in New York, organised alongside Beckenham Arts Lab Britain's first 'Free Festival' at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground in 1969. 

The event is celebrated as a cultural milestone and Bowie even wrote a song about it, titled the Memory of a Free Festival.

Last year an arts event was held to raise money for the Victorian structure. Bowie contributed signed memorabilia to the cause, which raised £600 at auction and £7,000 was collected overall. 

The festival is now set to return, and will take place on Saturday, August 16 – the same day 45 years after the Bowie original.

Bowie is again donating signed items for the bandstand fund, a 12'' vinyl single called Love is Lost, described by fans as “very desirable”.

News Shopper:

The festival in 1969

The line-up this year includes three musicians who played in 1969. There's a return visit by American folk/blues legend Amory Kane who made a special trip from California last year. He's joined by guitar maestro Bill Liesegang, who was a 16-year-old prodigy in 1969.

Singer-songwriter Roger Wotton, who played in the band Comus in 1969, is performing this year and said: “It’s like a strange dream where my life is starting over again.

"Comus have reformed, I'm playing the Beckenham Festival and meeting up with all the people I used to know.

"It is as if the wheel has turned full circle and I'm going into a repeat pattern.”

Many other musicians are set to take to the bandstand, as well as the Gingham Goose craft market, food, stalls, and a beer tent.

Organiser Natasha Ryzhova Lau said: "We want to encourage artists to take part. 

"This can include all sorts of artistic expression – poetry, storytelling, painting and sculpture.”

Entry to the festival costs £5.

Comments (3)

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3:19pm Mon 4 Aug 14

molsey says...

Bowie should perform, that would be something.
Bowie should perform, that would be something. molsey
  • Score: 5

1:04am Tue 5 Aug 14

marc8888 says...

I thought that he lived in New York, not LA.... NS, you might want to check....
I thought that he lived in New York, not LA.... NS, you might want to check.... marc8888
  • Score: 0

6:34am Tue 5 Aug 14

molsey says...

marc8888 wrote:
I thought that he lived in New York, not LA.... NS, you might want to check....
I think NY too.
[quote][p][bold]marc8888[/bold] wrote: I thought that he lived in New York, not LA.... NS, you might want to check....[/p][/quote]I think NY too. molsey
  • Score: 0

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