A sprawling concrete hub, the home of Kate Moss and the place you only pass through to get to Ikea; Croydon seems to offer very little. That is why the town’s council decided it was time to change the way people view the borough.
Now their efforts have been rewarded, as this year’s Ambition Festival in Croydon has been nominated for two national awards.
Ambition has been nominated for Best New Festival and Best Metropolitan Festival at the UK Festival Awards. Featuring over 100 acts, including Grammy-award winning Saharan blues band Tinariwen and London’s own Soul II Soul, Ambition Festival ran from July 23 – 26 this year.
Festival Manager and Croydon Council spokesman John Bownas said: “We were just trying to bring something exciting to a place which deserves it. Croydon’s on the up these days and it’s all part of that development process.”
Ambition will now compete in a public vote against the likes of Liverpool Sound City and Blackpool Music Festival.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said:
“It’s frankly amazing to be in the running alongside so many well-known festivals. It’s a testament to the quality of all the acts who performed and all of the people who supported the event – the volunteers, the venues, the people who programmed and worked on the stages, and of course those who came along to enjoy themselves.”
Godfrey said: “We’d love to come out on top and as the judges’ decision will be influenced by the number of people who vote for us I’d urge everyone to go to the website and give Ambition the thumbs up.”
Bownas added: “A nomination for a national award is a feather in the cap. Anyone that is aware of those nominations being given deserves to feel proud of the fact, whether they were part of the event, came along to the event, or the fact that it happened in their borough.”
“We wanted to celebrate new acts and get people to think differently about their town centre.
“Croydon is on the verge of a renaissance as money and businesses are pouring [in] – culture is an important part of this process of change, so now is the perfect time to celebrate where we are heading.”
By Naomi Joseph and Douglas Pyper