(P.20) Concert Bowl Latest - South London Press - Friday 17th September 1999

Thousands of pounds have been lost after the latest concerts at the Crystal Palace Bowl failed to attract big crowds.

The flop at the £1 million venue follows the controversy in June when three shows were cancelled after only 900 people saw the first summer concert. 'A Space Odyssey'.

The SLP has learned that two of the tour August shows made losses of £10,000 after just 2.000 people turned up to see them at the 15,000 capacity bowl.

Elegance of the Baroque. staged on August 22nd only attracted an audience of 2,500.

The show's promoter refused to reveal whether it made a loss or not, but the SLP does understand that many of these concerts need an audience of at least 3,000 to break even.

The Last Night of the Proms, on the August bank holiday weekend, did prove a success, however, attracting an audience of over 5,500 - which is 1,000 more than last year.

A spokesperson for the Crystal Palace Campaign, opposing the development of part of the park for a new leisure complex blames local opposition to the venue. which used almost £35,000 of public money to build.

A spokesperson said, "The attendances were poor and this is perhaps a sign that people did boycott the events. If something is seen to be making a loss then it will be hard to attract other, more popular, acts."

But promoters and council officials remain upbeat.

John Russell, the promoter for the loss-making 'American Dreams' and 'Music from the Movies' concerts, admitted that he had suffered because of the July cancellations, but still said that he would use the bowl in the future.

"The venue has a lot of potential and while I did lose out financially I am still coming back next year. These things take time to build up and establish."

And the promoter for Elegance of the Baroque Bob Porter added, "It is the best outdoor venue in the country, it is a first class operation."

A Bromley Council spokesman said. "We may look at some blues and some jazz and we would also encourage more community use such as local bands. choirs and school groups."

Top of Page; Return to Publications Index

18/9/99 Last updated 18/9/99