Bold Tendencies

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Bold Tendencies is a not-for-profit arts organisation. Established in the rooftop spaces of Peckham’s Multi-Storey Car Park it has transformed a disused building in the heart of South London into an iconic, much-loved place of culture and assembly.

Bold Tendencies is for everyone. More than 1.5 million people have enjoyed our summer seasons, celebrating the free enjoyment of public space in the city and enjoying this special spectacular place.

Bold Tendencies delivers an ambitious annual artistic programme of Visual Arts, Creative Learning and Live Events. Each annual programme brings to life a major theme: a series of responses from a new generation of voices alongside acclaimed international artists in visual art, music, dance, opera, poetry and readings. This allows for multiple entry points for the public, artists and audiences, as well as placing our work in conversation with wider cultural happenings and urgent conversations.

Our year-round Creative Learning programme of free and accessible initiatives foster space for local groups and individuals to imagine, create, appreciate the arts, and exercise the right to joy.

Working closely with groups and organisations in Peckham, Southwark and beyond – schools and family/community centres, youth clubs and health/social services. Celebrating enjoyment, inspiration and experimentation, our activities centre everyday creativity and community wellbeing.

Unafraid to pursue the radical, it works with some of the most adventurous artists of the younger generation – including Caleb Femi, Jay Bernard, Davóne Tines, and Oona Doherty – bringing audiences fresh practices and sought-after disciplines at a world class level. Long-term creative partnerships include Sharon Eyal and L-E-V, The Multi-Story Orchestra, the Philhamonia Orchestra and Loud Crowd Opera.

The Live programme looks to address barriers to the enjoyment of culture through the provision of affordable tickets and empowering experiences for local residents, children and young people, including free Public Rehearsals, Community Tickets, Backstage Pass and Ask the Artist sessions. 



Derelict until 2007, Bold Tendencies was founded in spring of that year. Established on the top 4 floors of the car park, the not-for-profit organisation has since developed a full summer season of site-specific visual art commissions and new architecture, and produces an ambitious live events programme of music, opera, dance and literature from May to September every year.

In 2009 Bold Tendencies commissioned Frank’s Cafe as its first architectural project, designed and built by Practice Architecture(founded by Paloma Gormley and Lettice Drake who were still students at the time). Conceived as a place to sit and refresh on site it was run by local bartender Frank Boxer and chef Michael Davies (who met working at the Anchor & Hope in Waterloo).

Since 2009 Frank’s Cafe – with its iconic retractable red tarpaulin roof – has been an integral part of the Bold Tendencies summer season. It offers brunch, lunch and dinner, all made to order on-site and focussed on simplicity and seasonality.


Following the success of Bold Tendencies, in 2015 Southwark Council made the decision to repurpose the remaining levels of the car park and tendered for proposals for the space. Peckham Levels were appointed to operate Floors 1 – 6 of the car park, providing creative workspaces and a public floor for independent food and beverage vendors.

In 2017, in consultation with Bold Tendencies and following a 5,000-strong community petition Southwark Council reached an agreement to take the car park off their core borough redevelopment plan, confirming the changed use and long-term cultural purpose of the building. Bold Tendencies was guaranteed a life-time lease for the top four floors of the former car park.

Bold Tendencies continues to operate an annual summer programme of visual art and live events on Levels 7 – 10 of the car park with Frank’s Cafe providing refreshments for visitors.


We have reached a defining moment in the history of our planet. Bold Tendencies acknowledges the climate and ecological emergency is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We are a public institution committed to supporting artists to create bold, radical new work for a broad and diverse cross-section of communities, and as a result environmental thinking must play a key role in who we are and what we do. 

We are determined to understand our position and the actions we can take – both immediately and in the long term – to address the organisation’s impact on the environment. This includes but is not limited to increasing the sustainability of our work, reducing our emissions and carbon footprint, improving green infrastructure and reviewing ways of working, in particular how we programme and produce our annual summer season. 

Bold Tendencies has reviewed Southwark Council’s Climate Strategy and Action Plan, and is a member of the Gallery Climate Coalition, an international community of arts organisations working to reduce our sector’s environmental impacts. Our environmental policy takes a prominent place in all our operations and we pledge to continually examine our systems, values and programmes to find ways to become more adaptive, more responsible and greener organisation.

Bold Tendencies Environment Policy.

Site by ON Bold Tendencies CIC is registered in England and Wales. Company No: 07662828. Vat No: 114047945.
Registered Office: 4 Holly Grove, London SE15 5DF
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