A Song for Croydon and festival offer for riot victims

South Londoners are invited to write “A Song for Croydon” in a music competition staged as part of a month-long Full Flavoured Folk festival being staged in South Norwood, which is offering free entry to those who lost their homes in last year’s riots.

Full Flavoured Folk is a series of summer music workshops which are continuing throughout this month.

The next session is African Caribbean song, from 6.30-8pm this Wednesday, August 22 (tickets £7, £4 for concessions).

This Thu, Aug 23, the Festival moves temporarily for Sound for Wellbeing – aimed at people living with mental health conditions and those interested in supporting their mental wellbeing. It will be held at Sydenham Gardens as part of a wider open week: Sound healing and chant 10.30 – 11.30; Nature energies 11.30-12.30. Please book with them directly (free, limited) 020 8291 1650. Click here for more details.

Other sessions at South Norwood are:

  • On Aug 29, the session is “Vocals and loop machines” (6.30-8pm; £10, or £7 for concessions).
  • And on Sep 3, Lilting and beatboxing – exploring links in this “Untraining workshop” (6.30-8pm; £8, or £5 for concessions.

Hard-working organiser Catherine Pestano is offering free places at the workshops to anyone who lost their homes during the 8/8 riots in Croydon last year, and she welcomes anyone to turn up for any of the sessions – though she asks people to book in advance because “it will be helpful to know if you think you might come”.

Pestano hopes that those who are able to afford the modest fees try to support the events, since the workshops work out considerably less expensive than having to travel to central London for similar musical events.

She also encourages those who have been traumatised by the events of last summer to come along and try the music sessions. “Singing with others is very healing when you have had such a terrible experience,” she says.

“Fees vary and are as low as we can make them to pay people fairly,” Pestano says. “Please ask if you need a working bursary as these are very limited due to no funding, but we don’t want you to lose out if you need this.”

With the exception of the Sydneham Gardens event, all sessions are at the hall of Holy Innocents Church, Selhurst Road, SE25. Norwood Junction train station is 3min walk. Or buses 75, 157 and 410 stop outside (request stop before Norwood junction).

And budding song-writers have until September 30 to compose something suitably award-winning for the Song for Croydon competition. For more information on the song contest and all festival activities, email for info Catherine@naturalvoice.net

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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