GALLERY: Crowd funding campaign launched to save the Bowie Bandstand after festival’s success

PUBLISHED: 11:54 15 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:01 15 August 2016

Bowie's Beckenham Oddity. Photography: Gaz de Vere

Bowie's Beckenham Oddity. Photography: Gaz de Vere

@ de Vere Photography 1997-2015

A fundraising festival was held on Saturday - all photos courtesy of Gaz de Vere

Bowie fans young and old gathered in their hundreds on Saturday to celebrate the life of local legend David Bowie.

The music icon, who died in January, famously played a free festival at Croydon Road Recreation Ground’s bandstand in 1969 - a day he immortalised with the song Memory of a Free Festival.

Fans gathered to see a host of musical talent pay homage to the style, art and music icon.

Organiser Wendy Faulkner, whose brother was at the original festival, praised the day’s success.

The Orpington resident, said: “The whole day was briliant, the most support came from Bowie fans and the likes of Mary Finnigan and Tony Visconti.”

Among the guests was Bowie’s former landlady and lover, Mary Finnigan.

In January, Ms Finnigan released a book telling the story of her’s and Bowie’s time with the Beckenham Arts Lab, an arts movement which organised the 1969 festival where Bowie played his new release at the time - Space Oddity.

Calls to restore the Victorian bandstand have seen fundraising festivals take place in 2013 and 2014, both of which were organised by local Bowie-fan Natasha Ryzhova-Lau.

Following the starman’s death earlier this year, Bromley council pledged to restore the bandstand.

Last year the council had a Heritage Lottery Fund application refused, but the HLF later confirmed it would welcome a second application.

So far no application has been made.

Local people are now being called upon to help support the site where Bowie penned the massive Life on Mars.

So far, £35,000 has been raised to help complete the bandstand’s restoration, but a further £93,000 is still needed.

Deputy leader of Bromley council, Colin Smith, called on locals to ‘dig deep’

He 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 vision 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.”

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