More flee London’s failing concert hall

More flee London’s failing concert hall


norman lebrecht

November 02, 2022

The latest from the long-running disaster of Croydon’s Fairfield Halls:

Since the end of September, Chris Symons, BHLive’s CEO, Simon Beaumont, the chief operating officer, and Kevin Quilty, Fairfield Halls’ “head of marketing and development”, have all left or are working out their notice.

Beaumont’s 12-month contract was not renewed. There’s been no announcement of any replacement.

Symons’ departure was notably abrupt. Indeed, there was no announcement that he was standing down or working out his notice….

Read on here.


  • Gary Freer says:

    That’s sad. I visited the Concert Hall to take part in a tutti rehearsal recently and was bowled over by it – not least the acoustic and nostalgia for its 1960s vibe. It’s also very easy to reach by public transport.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Apparently, the acoustic is fantastic, assuming you are up for “Lost in Music: One Night at the Disco”, “The Simon and Garfunkel Story” (cover band), “An Evening of Burlesque”, and, ahem, “Sing-a-Long-a Dirty-Dancing”, whatever the expletive deleted that might be.

    • John Dietmann says:

      I agree although I have never been to a concert there. But friends who have, agree with your assessment. When I was young travelling to Croydon after work was expensive and tiring. The London Mozart Players & Howard Shelley are favourites of mine. Fortunately Qobuz has many of their cd’s.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Shame- best concert hall in Greater London acoustically- particularly for large orchestras. If they need anybody to step in- I’m free!

  • Random passer by says:

    Crwydon has to be the Welsh spelling…also that foyer shot is pre refurbishment, those spurious waves were removed.

  • John Dietmann says:

    It is sad that Croydon’s concert hall may fail. Living in northwest London & being 85 now, through the years of my retirement Croydon was just too far away. The concert halls of Central London are all a short free tube ride away. That said, I have enjoyed the performances of the London Mozart Players at St John’s Smith Square. Howard Shelley is not only a fine pianist but a great educator/conductor.
    Let’s hope that the Fairfield Hall survives and that the LMP find a new home if it doesn’t.

    • SVM says:

      If you have a London Freedom pass, that will give you free travel on trains to/from East Croydon railway station as well (regardless of operator) after the morning peak. Thameslink run a regular service connecting East Croydon to a substantial swathe of northwest London either direct or with only one interchange.

  • Antwerp Smerle says:

    Sad indeed to hear this about a hall that has hosted some amazing performances, including this one by Leonard Bernstein and the LSO in 1967:

  • Tony Britten says:

    The Acoustic is indeed fantastic – I was there when it re-opened and was shocked to be reminded of how good it was. Stokowski said it was the best in Europe. As a boy I saw Klemperer, Rubinstein, Guilini et al. The London orchestras played Fairfield on Saturday nights and the RFH on Sunday afternoons. And they all preferred Fairfield. Is there really no audience for good music and theatre in Croydon any more?

  • Peter Feltham says:

    This would only surprise an idiot.What with crazy so-called Congestion Charges and then parking charges, or exhorbitant rail fares.Not to mention the shocking levels of knife crime and assaults if you are brave enough to travel on public transport with a lady or child.London will eventually become a ghost city at night.

    • Iain says:

      We can do without this tabloid, scaremongering, nonsense.

      Crime per capita by police force in descending order:

      West Yorkshire
      Greater Manchester
      West Midlands
      South Yorkshire
      N Wales
      Metropolitan Police

  • Music lover says:

    Good BHlive need to go, and a serious music promoter replace them. All they need is a good programme of music and it will build from there. I saw the LMP on the reopening and the hall was packed out! But all this low level cultural trash they keep running is never going bring it back to its former glory!

  • Karden says:

    The Youtube video that Antwerp Smerle posted above shows how good the acoustic in the Fairfield hall really is. How come the venue is generally obscure or unknown outside London? It appears to be a sleeper or diamond in the rough. It is overlooked the way the renovated NY Phil’s Geffen Hall is being ignored by this blog—btw, Lincoln Center’s hall is better than before, but some listeners still have certain issues with it.