Talented young musicians across Croydon are gearing up for the opportunity of a lifetime as they prepare to perform at the inaugural The Ends Festival taking place in Lloyd Park this month (30 May-1 June).
Funded by Croydon Council and Croydon Music and Arts, the Future stage will showcase some of the borough’s best talent, while giving emerging artists the chance to perform at this major music event, with headliners including Nas, Wizkid and Damian Marley.
Developed by the council in partnership with event organisers Metropolis Music, the Future stage will feature 22 local acts. Each act is or includes a young person aged 14-25 who lives, works or studies in Croydon. Seven acts will perform on Friday and Saturday, eight on Sunday, each for a 20-minute slot in between main stage artists.
The Future Stage line-up represents a huge range of genres including rap, hip hop, pop, neo-soul, dancehall, afro-swing and grime, as well as steel pans, rock, guitar, strings and brass groups from Croydon Music and Arts.
Artists were found through a council call-out and some were asked to audition at The Front Room before a panel of industry professionals and council representatives.
All those performing will be invited to a post-festival workshop with Metropolis Music for advice and guidance on next steps in working in the industry.
Tricey R, singer, songwriter and producer from Croydon, who will be performing on the Future Stage on Friday, said: “I’m super-excited to be performing at this amazing event among some of the biggest names in music – it’s such a fantastic opportunity for an artist like myself.”
“We’re delighted to be working with The Ends Festival to showcase some of the best emerging artists locally. Croydon has always had a strong reputation for producing musical talent, and as a developing Music City we are committed to creating new platforms and opportunities for that talent to grow. The artists you see today on the Future Stage could well be the headliners of tomorrow.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
South London rapper Che Lingo, who is performing on the Ends and Friends Stage, welcomed the decision to create a platform for young people: “It’s paramount to have spaces that are geared to create opportunities like this for young, up and coming artists, I can definitely say without the youth club studios, local festivals and council talent shows, I would’ve had a lot less places (if any at all) to develop my talent and hone my performance ability in its earliest form. These kinds of opportunities were some of the first moments I felt comfortable chasing my dream and being encouraged to do so outside of my home in a setting catered to being an artist. In other words, the first time I could genuinely say I felt I had a true stake in the game.”
Look out for The Ends pop-up Box Office opening at Box Park Croydon this weekend. The shop will be selling discounted festival tickets and staff will be happy to answer any questions around the festival plans.