By Nick Levine (@nicklevine)
The Camden Crawl this year returns to North London bigger and better than ever. Taking place on the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (4-6 May), with over 300 acts across the spectrum of music, comedy and performance set to perform. The festival takes place across a plethora of different venues, with just one ticket allowing access to all. It’s a great way of sampling some hotly tipped bands and comedians without breaking the bank.
Originally a staple event in the Britpop calendar, the first festival took place in 1995 and mainly showcased small-time indie bands desperate to bag a gig. Since its inception, the festival has become an entirely different entity. The Camden Crawl is now an essential date in the festival calendar, a celebration of Camden’s rich musical and cultural heritage, and is known for showcasing the next big thing, as well as intimate sets by household names. In recent years this has even included Amy Winehouse performing a lager-soaked set at The Dublin Castle.
Part of the charm of the festival is not finding out the exact schedule until the day of the event. Accessing the itinerary on the afternoon of the event normally results in a mad rush to decide where to set up shop for the night, or plotting a strategic route in an effort to optimally catch the best action.
This year some of the new name acts to look out for include the hotly tipped, Heavenly Records-signed Stealing Sheep, the indie electro of Bastille, and nouveau chanteuse Lucy Rose. In terms of more established names, Gaz Coombes of Supergrass will showcase his new solo material, whilst The Futureheads (long term veterans of The Crawl) are likely to perform material from their new acappela album Rant.
Venues are curated by a smorgasbord of record labels and tastemakers including Club Fandango, Drowned In Sound and Last.FM, resulting in a genuine variety of genres. The interactive sessions see Hip Hop Karaoke returning to the Crawl, alongside pop quizzes from Rough Trade and Moshi Moshi Records. If culture is more your bag, Art History In The Pub, are participating by putting on a series of lectures at The Enterprise. One of them is set to be on representations of meat within art, which is surely something Lady Gaga would approve of.