Abbeyfest is a fantastic local mini-festival - with lots of events - live music , stand-up comedy, theatre and more:
The Friday music evenings (mainly Soul music) are FREE and OPEN-AIR:
The music kicks off at 8pm but I'd like to meet at 7 pm so we can ensure we're near the 'stage' and so we can be seated together (it's jam packed come 8pm)...but also so we can chat, drink, eat before the music gets under way. The open air music evenings are thoroughly enjoyable and a great way to make the most of the summer sun (hopefully!!!) and long evenings in a local setting.
See below for more event info & re what you need to know for the event/evening.
“SAMARA” is a six piece jazz/latin group which I lead, and suffice it to say I think the guys in the band are just great! The pianist, Neil Angilley works with Vanessa Mae, Shirley Bassey and “Down to the Bone”, Dill Katz, the bass player is visiting professor at the Guildhall, Nic France the drummer has worked with just about everyone, including “Loose Tubes” and Bill Withers, the percussionist, Dawson Miller is generally recognised as one of the most versatile and experienced players on the scene, and the singer Jacqui Hicks, with her strong, clear, voice and assured, exciting, but always very musical style. The music is an infectious blend of Brazilian Samba, jazz/latin and Soul, and everyone has a great time! “Cracking Latin-jazz quintet led by 606 proprietor Steve Rubie on flute and alto saxophone…explores these Latin jazz classics in great rhythmic style” Time Out
“Polly Gibbons…a truly exceptional, once in a generation talent, possessing a voice of such sizzling intensity and raw emotion you could fry an egg on it” Jazzwise
The music finishes about 10pm and then if the weather is nice ppl can stay on to chat/have a few drinks (if you want to).
There is usually live comedy from 10-12pm in the Colourhouse theatre which is on the same site as the bandstand (basically opp the bandstand)- tickets go on sale at 9pm on the nite so if you want to go to the comedy you can buy tickets during the music interval (the interval is at 9pm).
DRINKS & FOOD: I suggest you buy your drinks/food @ Abbeyfest rather than bringing it with you - so as to support the event and hopefully ensure we can enjoy it for FREE in years to come :)
- There's a pub and
- some restaurtants: Pizza Hut/Kentucky Fried Chicken/ a British Cafe / a Belgian Cafe/ Thai, Italian, Indian & Caribbean restaurants plus
- stalls selling booze and food (cooked food and snacks).
WHAT TO BRING:
- picnic blanket or towel - to sit on (else you'll be sitting on concrete!); you can bring folding chairs if you don't want to sit on the ground
- enough cash - as I'm not sure if eg the stalls would take cards (there's no cashpoint on site)
- sunscreen and
- a warm top layer (as it can get windy/chilly as it's open air - I know it's boiling now, but weather changes!) plus
- an umbrella in case of a shower; if it's wet - do still come along - it shouldn't be cold & hopefully even if it rains it won't last long.
Merton Abbey Mills is a short walk from Colliers Wood or South Wimbledon tube stations - there's a map on this weblink - but see below for walking directions: (http://www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk/abbeyfest/where_is_abbeyfest.htm
See (a different) map below - the red line is what you should follow if you're walking (not the blue line) - ie when you get to the big Sainsburys (and M&S) go through the entrance and out the other side into their car park and walk straight ahead across the car park and you'll see a small underpass with a sign for Merton Abbey Mills - walk through that and then walk to your right and you'll pass Pizza Hut and KFC (as marked on the map below) - when you pass KFC there's a small road to cross - and Merton Abbey Mills is across the road from KFC.
Once you cross the small road, keep walking ahead and you should be able to find the Bandstand (it's a small area/venue). That's as detailed as I can be for directions! So please don't contact me for directions on the day.
See below for parking availability in the vicinity.
Parking restrictions are subject to change so please read the signs before you park, but from what I'm aware this is what's available:
-in Abbey Mills for free - for 2 hours (you have to display a ticket - but the ticket is free for the 1st 2 hours) - parking is limited in Abbey Mills
- in Tandem Centre for free - for 3 hours (no ticket needed) - there's plenty of parking there in evening
- in Savacentre for free - for 4 hours (no ticket needed) - plenty of parking