Soul Town: Two-day music festival to return to south London park

The festival will return to Croydon Road Recreation Ground (Soul Town)
The festival will return to Croydon Road Recreation Ground (Soul Town)

A two-day music festival expected to attract up to 10,000 people is returning to a park in Bromley at the end of this summer.

Soul Town music festival has been given permission by Bromley Council to take place again in Croydon Road Recreation Ground in August and September this year.

Soul Town Festival is scheduled to run for two days on August 31 and September 1 and will include performances from The Four Tops and Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire fame.

The event in Beckenham has taken place in the park since 2018 and has a capacity of up to 10,000 people. It will run from midday until 10pm on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday.

The topic was discussed at a licensing meeting for Bromley Council on March 25. Joe Courtney, co-founder of the festival, said at the meeting that the organisers felt the event had been very successful in the last two years at reducing disturbances to nearby residents.

He said that additional measures in place at the festival last year included more toilets, security and fencing along blind spots on Croydon Road.

Mr Courtney said: “We have also done a deep clean, spray and minor regeneration of the park toilets which we liaised with Bromley Council on and we’ve got some great feedback on that. The park toilets were then back in use.

“We had a plumber come out and jet wash them, had them repainted and those park toilets were clean and safe for children to use for the rest of the holidays.”

Andrew Baker, who lives on Village Way beside the park, said at the meeting that he had no objection to people enjoying themselves and accepted that the running of the event had improved over recent years.

However, he said that residents in the area felt the noise from the festival was causing a public nuisance and locals had no choice on whether they wished to listen to the music.

Mr Baker said: “For some people in extenuating circumstances, they have no option but to leave their homes and go away for the whole weekend… Those people cannot stay in their homes literally ten feet away from the fence without Earth, Wind & Fire blasting at them for the best part of two days, or that sort of music.

“My point is those people are basically being forced out of their homes.”

A council officer said at the meeting that the applicant had agreed to reposition the main stage and DJ tent of the festival to ensure they pointed away from nearby properties.

He added that the police had not objected to the event proposed for this year but sent a list of recommended conditions, which the applicant had agreed to.

A Soul Town spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We are thrilled to be granted our licence for 2024.

“The amount of objections year on year are reducing dramatically, and we will continue to work closely with the residents to keep disturbances to a minimum. The lineup for this year is the biggest yet and we can’t wait. Thanks to everyone for your continued support.”

2024 Soul Town lineup (more still to be announced):

- The Four Tops- Tavares- Earth, Wind & Fire Experience by Al McKay- Maxi Priest- Kenny Thomas- Atlantic Starr- The Trammps- Jocelyn Brown- Odyssey- Gwen Dickey- Damage- David Grant- Cool Notes- Julie McKnight