The Crystal Palace Bowl is an iconic South London venue with a musical tradition stretching back for more than 150 years!
The first ever festival held in Crystal Palace was held back in 1857 (celebrating the works of Handel), while battle of the (brass) bands were regular occurrences until its destruction in the mid-1930s. The ‘Pageant Of London’, which took place during the summer of 1911 and attracted more than a million visitors, was held on the very same grounds that the Crystal Palace Bowl now sits on.
Fast forward to 1961 and the Crystal Palace Concert Bowl opened here with a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, which gave birth to the ‘Proms In The Park’ series featuring deckchairs, picnics and Pimms on Summer evenings. ‘Modern’ music made its debut in 1971 with the one-day Crystal Palace Garden Party festival and the likes of Pink Floyd and The Faces on the bill. Elton John and The Beach Boys played the second Garden Party during the same summer, with Elton liking it so much he returned the following year alongside the likes of Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Roxy Music, Yes and Lindisfarne. Later Garden Party events saw Lou Reed, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, James Taylor, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello and many more.