music / Outdoors


Real bands, real ale, real life

8 July 2021

Festival season has had its knocks these past 18 or so months, but suddenly there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.  South Norwood Community Festival has been given the green light and the thumbs well and truly up to go ahead. It’s outdoors for one, so that’s a tick in the old Covid safety box, plus they will be operating with advice from the government regarding Covid-19 and have implemented some changes to be in line with that. All they ask of us is that we all stick to social distancing rules and all that jazz.

Now the boring (but important) Covid spill is out of the way, on with the festival preview!

Featuring live music, performances, stalls, rides for the kids, food and drink and more, the festival takes place on Sunday 18 July at South Norwood Recreation Ground. It’s free and there’s no ticket required.

First in the performance zone is the Panash Steel Orchestra.

Panash Steel Orchestra Performance Zone 11.30am

The sound of summer for sure! Is 11.30am too early to visit the bar? Speaking of bars, there is a beer tent provided by the Portland Arms where they will be serving Real Ale, Lager, Cider, Wine and Cocktails.

Back to the Panash Steel Orchestra. They originally formed back in 1983 and are currently based in Crystal Palace. Consisting of 2 main orchestras they have been doing their rounds at many events of note; such as The Royal Albert Hall, Notting Hill Carnival and the New Year’s Day Parade.

Have a watch of this for a taste of what’s to come.

A couple of Croydon bands feature on the bill, the first being Helve.

Helve – Main Stage 1pm

A five piece indie/jazz band who met at Croydon College. They have quite an interesting sound of mixed genres of jazz, low-fi, and electronica, but it works seamlessly. Very chilled and perfect for a summer’s day. Personal Fave of mine is ‘Hard Shoulder’, but have a listen for yourself here.

Kids Zone

If the kids are starting to fidget and need a spot of adventure, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a kids zone. I’ll probably be at the side of the bouncy castle and inflatable slide for most of the festival, as these are faves of our daughter and she could happily play on them all day, although there are a few other rides there too.

Escaping the Kids Zone there’s 50 stalls at the festival to explore plus a dance and performance zone with workshops and entertainment. So there really is a lot going on. Too much for me to feature it all, but back to the music.

Bugeye – Main Stage 3pm

The second Croydon band on the bill is my own band, Bugeye. We will be playing our blend of disco punk from our debut album ‘Ready, Steady, Bang’. This is our first show since March 2020 before we head off on a UK tour. We also have a podcast which is likely to have it’s own tour soon too. If you haven’t already, give Bugeye’s Rock, Pop, Rambles a listen.

Get in the mood for our set with our single Don’t Stop.

MOSES – Main Stage 5pm 

Ones to watch FOR SURE! Moses has been blowing away audiences for some time now. I’ve seen them live, I’ve bought their records, and I highly recommend you do too! A lively indie rock band that’ll have you pogoing around the park in no time, but it’s not just about that though. This band has many layers to explore.

Check out single ‘Move on’ which was released in April this year.

South Norwood Festival is packed with entertainment this year, and I’ve only just touched on a few of them. Other bands/artists on the main stage include The Beat Genius (11am), The Great Leslie (2pm), Mangoseed (4pm) and headlining is Reminisce Reggae Band.

Reminisce Reggae Band Main Stage 6pm

The perfect headliners for an incredible festival day. Expect flavours of Jamaican music including styles such as Ska, Rocksteady and more. The band is made of highly skilled session musicians and I’m sure there won’t be a butt on the grass once they start playing. I’ll certainly be pulling some shapes to their set and singing badly.

For the full festival programme visit:

See you there!

South Norwood Community Festival 2021 is on Sunday 18 July at South Norwood Recreation Ground.

Posted by Angela

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