Bees attack! Swarm puts sting in the tail of Purley Way party

The “world’s biggest party” finished with a sting for many at MattsBBQ on Saturday night, when a swarm of bees descended on Purley Way playing fields.

‘It was like a horror movie’: although not a very good one…

The bees “attack” was video’d by some of the thousands of party-goers, showing terrified customers making a dash for the car park or the safety of the coaches which had brought them from across London for the 11-hour-long music festival.

“Attack was like a whole horror film,” tweeted Tammy Webb, for whom Michael Caine in The Swarm had just become a little bit too real.

“I actually still cannot believe it.”

Some of the party-goers suggested that the bee swarm had been arranged by local residents angry at the noise, disruption and traffic chaos caused by this “Mini Glastonbury” descending on this corner of Croydon for the day. Which, of course, was nonsense.

Bees regularly swarm when moving from one hive and establishing a new home. At dusk on a summer evening, the booming bass from the BBQ’s sound system or the bright lights at dusk may have disorientated the insects and drawn them into the festival site.

Inside Croydon received a large volume of messages and emails in the 48 hours before the event from residents, most of whom were concerned at the road closures and the complete absence of any communication from the local council about the upcoming event.

Indeed, one correspondent confirmed that after receiving a letter from the festival organisers in January, they had received no further information whatsoever in the intervening six months, and nothing at all from Croydon Council.

The January letter had made no mention of any road closures.

“The organisers of MattsBBQ sent this document to all residents when they were planning the event but there is no mention of road closures,” the resident told Inside Croydon.

On the day, locals were outraged that while they were expected to contend with road closures on their own residential streets, many found their driveways and roads blocked by cars parked – often illegally – most probably by people attending MattsBBQ (top-end tickets: a cool £156).

No enforcement: residents felt trapped in their homes by road closures, yet visitors were able to park illegally

One wrote that they “feel trapped in our own home, unable to go out anywhere because of the road closures. Yet visitors have been parking on the verges and on the pavements, and we’ve been abandoned by our council, with no sign of any enforcement officers”.

Another wrote to iC on Saturday: “I received my letter and two resident passes yesterday, which informed me that my road would be closed to only residents.

“Today, there has been no one on the Waddon Way entrance restricting non-residents and a guy at the other end sat down and was not doing anything.

“Delivery vans have been unable to drive through and it’s very hard for a normal car to get through. We would find it very hard to exit our drive and god forbid if we need the fire engine or ambulance as they wouldn’t be able to get past.

“A car has also parked in my neighbour’s disabled parking space with no blue badge.

“This event has not been organised well with regards to the residents living around the field with no information from the council.

“This could have been a great day but lack of communication and thought for those living here has made us very upset and could see a lot of locals objecting to any further events happening round here.”

Become a Patron!

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 Croydon Council, Music, Parking, Purley Way, Waddon and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bees attack! Swarm puts sting in the tail of Purley Way party

  1. Christopher+Myers says:

    Oh joy! Retribution 😀

    • Retribution against whom for what? Have you got a problem with the particular demographic make-up of those who attended the event? Or are you an equal opportunities misanthrope?

Leave a Reply