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Music History
Restoring the Crystal Palace Bowl

An iconic South London music venue is being brought back to life.

The Crystal Palace Concert Bowl is a performance space in Crystal Palace Park. It was part of the ornate pleasure grounds and gardens surrounding the Great Exhibition when it relocated to Sydenham Hill in 1851.

The large, sloping ampitheatre beside an ornamental lake and an avenue of trees hosted a myriad of events from large gatherings and festivals to displays and exhibitions associated with the Great Exhibition itself.

In later years, the Bowl was home to regular open-air classical concerts and pop and rock performances. 

The orginal bowl shaped structure afterwhich it was named was replaced during the 90s. The new, architect-designed enclosure had a metallic covering of oxidised steel which gave the structure an earthy dark brow/red hue and led to the affectionate nickname "The rusty laptop". Sadly, the stage fell into disrepair and hasn't been used in the last decade or so due to safety concerns.

This year, a new community body, Crystal Palace Park Trust, has been established to oversee and protect the Bowl and restore the venue for community events and concerts. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds to repair the stage and make it once again fit for public use. If all goes to plan, the restoration should be completed later this year.

2020 was the 40th anniversary year of Bob Marley and the Wailers performing at the Bowl. A blue plaque was installed to remember Marley's performance, his last ever London show.

To remind you of some of the iconic bands and artists that played the Crystal Palace Bowl, we've collected a few posters and fliers from the Bowl's heyday.

Find out more about the Crystal Palace Bowl at https://www.crystalpalacebowl.com/
If you'd like to support the rejuvenation of this beautiful open-air performance space in Crystal Palace Park, please contribute to the Crowdfunding campaign