Campaign to bring iconic Crystal Palace Bowl back to its former glory

Live music could soon return to an iconic venue that once hosted the likes of Pink Floyd and Bob Marley.

A campaign to get a new stage installed at the Crystal Palace Bowl has begun.

The striking stage, known fondly as the ‘rusty laptop’, in Crystal Palace Park has fallen into disrepair in the past decade.

The structure was built in 1997 and replaced a previous concrete and steel stage that had been in place since the 1960s.

The concert bowl opened in June 1961, with a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra.

And in the 70s and 80s it hosted The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Elton John and Bob Marley.

This year marks the venue’s 60th birthday and the Back The Bowl campaign hopes to crowdfund £55,000 for a new stage surface to be installed to bring the venue back to life.

An event at the Crystal Palace Bowl in 1997 just after the current stage was built
An event at the Crystal Palace Bowl in 1997 just after the current stage was built
(Image: Dennis Gilbert)

The campaign is being led by the Crystal Palace Park Trust and is its first big project.

It is hoped that by bringing the stage back to life it can be used for live music, community arts or educational and fitness activities.

The corten steel structure was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects and sits at the bottom of a grass amphitheatre with a small lake separating it from the audience.

Former leader of Croydon Council and chair of the Crystal Palace Park Trust, Val Shawcross, said: “The local community dearly want to see this iconic stage brought back into use for music, theatre, events and fun in the summer.

“It’s especially important to us all in this Covid pandemic that we plan together for our future social and cultural life together and look forward to enjoying entertainment with our children and families in one of the UK’s finest parks.”

To find out more and to pledge, visit www.spacehive.com/crystalpalacebowl.

If you’ve got a story in this area, email our reporter at tara.o’connor@reachplc.com.

My London – Bromley