Pledge to restore the Bowie Bandstand

Published Sunday, 14 August 2016

A crowdfunding campaign to help restore the iconic Bowie Bandstand in Beckenham has been launched by the Friends of Bec Rec.

A crowdfunding campaign to help restore the iconic Bowie Bandstand in Beckenham has been launched by the Friends of Bec Rec.
The fundraising initiative supports the campaign to restore the historic bandstand where David Bowie performed at the Beckenham Arts Lab Growth Summer Festival in 1969, which has been renewed and increased following the sad news of David Bowie’s death earlier this year.  The news follows the successful tribute concert, Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity, on Saturday, organised by the Memory of a Free Festival. 

The bandstand became a focal point where fans were able to leave memorials to the musical legend in January.  Once complete, the restored bandstand will be a fit-for-purpose performance space, which will offer a variety of entertainment opportunities and may even be a site where future music legends cut their teeth! In this respect, it will be a living legacy. Supporters can pledge a donation at to show their support and they are also being encouraged to share the news.  In total, £93,000 is still needed to complete the restoration of the bandstand, in addition to the £35,000 already raised.  

Councillor Colin Smith, Deputy Leader of Bromley Council said, ““If you have ever been moved by the super-star legend who was David Bowie’s music over the years, then please do consider pledging your support by making a donation of any size to help bring this worthy project to fruition or by purchasing a brick.  

Our vison remains focussed on transforming the aging Bandstand into a fitting and enduring tribute to his memory, at the place, where in many ways, his story really started. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already helped immensely too, very much including the Friends of Bec Rec who have driven the crowd funding and the ‘Memory of a Free Festival’ who organised this weekend’s fantastic, and poignant concert.  As well as course as the many, many other individuals too numerous to name who have shown an interest into what is being proposed.  Please dig deep if you can. I know that if we all pull together we can make this vision come true.”

Chris Phillips, Chairman of Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground, known as Friends of Bec Rec, said, “Local people will know that this restoration project has been close to our hearts for some time and we are making progress to that epic goal.  Please do pledge a donation and show your support.  If you would like to get practically involved in the park, including the bandstand, please do consider joining our group.”      

The campaign features a short video which has been shot with the grateful thanks of a local filmmaker. The film features a range of people connected to the bandstand, including Daphne Guinness.  The bandstand is also the last identifiable one of its type and has a wealth of musical heritage, having been the venue for many musical performances since its installation in 1905.

Supporters are also being invited to purchase a personalised brick around the much-loved landmark. The bricks, which cost £100, could be a personal tribute to remember David Bowie, but the brick could also commemorate a loved one, celebrate a special occasion, or promote a business. The bricks will form the circular pathway around the structure and can be purchased at

The campaign was launched at the successful Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity fundraising event held on Saturday where a variety of famous musicians played on the same spot that one of Beckenham’s most famous residents began writing his ‘Life on Mars’ epic.


Editor’s notes:

1. The restoration work, which needs to be carried out by specialist contractors, will see the structure sympathetically restored to protect the intricate detail and Edwardian craftsmanship. The first phase of crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £47,152 which will fund all the important preparatory work for the restoration, plus the work to the roof and painting. Phase 2 (£45,920) will focus on completing the remaining restoration works, including re-landscaping. If the contingency and inflation sums are not required during  the restoration works, these sums will be put towards purchasing interpretation panels; a custom-made freestanding frame to rig lighting for performances; an accessible ramp and temporary staging to increase performance space.  If funds are not successfully secured by the time the campaign has ended, in 3 months, then none of the pledges made will be taken.

2. Interested individuals who want to join the Friends of Bec Rec can find out further information by visiting their website

3. Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity took place on Saturday 13th August 2016.

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