Council backs down over plans to license 15,000-people rave

Croydon Council has dropped its application for a licence to stage a rave, potentially with as many as 15,000 people, on Purley Way playing fields.

A poorly publicised public consultation over staging events on Purley Way playing fields drew a stinging rebuke from councillors

The council had submitted the licence application to the local licensing body – Croydon Council – at the start of September, though it did very little to publicise the move.

A similar application, for an 8,000-person licence for events staging live or recorded music, dance, outdoor movie screenings, and selling alcohol in Addington Park, was abandoned last week.

According to Inside Croydon research, the council already has a willing partner to stage such events, in Garage Nation, organisers of large-scale music festivals, who have already advertised an event for an unspecified Croydon park for June 2021.

Tickets for an outdoor festival in a Croydon park are already being marketed

The same company had planned to stage a music event in Addington Park this year until coronavirus played its part.

With tickets for a one-day event going for £55 each, even an 8,000-person event such as that planned to be held in the Addington Village conservation area might generate more than £400,000. And Croydon Council would expect to cash-in on allowing its parks to be used for such festivals, just as other London boroughs do.

The licence applications are understood to be the idea of Paula Murray, the council’s director of arts. Croydon is to be London’s “Borough of Culture” in 2023, and at present tends to stage most large-scale music events in Lloyd Park.

But the latest applications were submitted with little or no consultation with the local police, residents’ associations or councillors.

Bad idea: Paula Murray, Croydon’s culture ‘director’

Stinging criticism of the proposals for Purley Way, in a letter of objection from Waddon ward councillors, highlighted how poorly considered the plans were, with little thought given to transport and parking issues, or the loss of the public amenity of the playing fields, potentially for weeks on end.

With growing concerns about illegal raves having been staged this summer in Croham Hurst and South Norwood Country Park – managed by professional organisers for profit – objections from the Metropolitan Police over the Purley Way and Addington Park applications may have also been influential.

The council appears to have admitted defeat. For now at least.

In an email to objectors sent this morning from a council licensing officer, they said, “I am writing to you now to inform you that the application has been withdrawn and will no longer be going to a Sub Committee Hearing.”

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
This entry was posted in Addington, Addington Residents' Association, Art, Borough of Culture 2023, Crime, Croham Hurst, Croydon Council, Croydon parks, Dance, Music, Paula Murray, Purley Way, Waddon and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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