Breaking Down The Camden Crawl

verb (used without object)
1. to move in a prone position with the body resting on or close to the ground, as a worm or caterpillar, or on the hands and knees, as a young child.

verb (used with object)
2. to visit or frequent a series of (especially bars): to crawl the neighborhood pubs.

The London Borough of Camden is a borough of London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Camden is home to many iconic music venues. Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix have played there, and Koko (formerly Camden Palace) was the home of Britpop. Not a bad little resume.

Combine the 2 and you have a weekend of musical bliss – The Camden Crawl.

I’m pretty excited to check out The Camden Crawl, perhaps the event that kicks off the festival season here in England (check out the PeteHatesMusic Worldwide Festival summary here). Similar to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas or North by Northeast as Toronto readers likely know, the Camden Crawl gives you a wristband, 2 miles of venues, and 300+ artists to check out over the May Bank holiday weekend.

Both established artists and on-the-verge buzz bands often play the Camden Crawl. Camden exudes a certain English indie coolness, and I’m excited to bounce around from legendary venue to legendary venue. Heck, even the Mayor of Camden goes to the gigs! Pretty sure you won’t see Toronto’s Rob Ford waddling his way around North by Northeast.

Camden Crawl’s evening line-ups are selected by a committee of esteemed music industry tastemakers, including PeteHatesMusic! radio DJs, club promoters, journalists and record labels. The Crawl has expanded to add comedy, spoken word shows, visual arts, and some unconventional theatre as well, so it’s not just for music fans like you and I. The 11th year will kick off on Friday May 4 with Death in Vegas (aka Richard Fearless) playing at the KOKO. May 5 and 6 is when the many, many hours of music will be in full swing.

The first portion of the line up has been revealed, including bands such as Toy, D/R/U/G/S, Rolo Tomassi, Pariah, Roska, Baxter Dury, Charlie XCX, Chew Lips, Cymbals, Keep Shelly In Athens, Kwes, Polarbear and of course many more. You might not know them now, but chances are you will in the next year or two.

An interesting and new twist this year – the Camden Crawl is coming to Dublin, Ireland, too! Playing off the name Camden Street, 15 venues in Dublin will play host to the event. It’ll kick off May 11 and 12, with over 100 bands playing between Camden Street and Temple Bar.

For those interested in “interactive fun”, there will be Hip Hop Karaoke Saturday at the Monarch. There is also Karauke, which is a band of fine-tuned ukuleles absent one lead vocalist Sunday at the Monarch, so come lend your voice (or your ukulele!). Other events include Moshi Moshi Pop Quiz Saturday at Grand Union, Musical Bingo Sunday at Grand Union, Rough Trade Shops Pop Quiz Sunday at Grand Union, and finally a 15 year old music quiz, Who Killed Bambi? Sunday at Grand Union. So while you rock out, you can leave your boring boyfriend/girlfriend at one of the events above, and hope know they’ll be in good hands.

The Camden Crawl runs Saturday May 5th & Sunday May 6th 2012 (obviously) for a massive 16 hours, 12pm – 4am on both days! You can check out the Opening Night Party @ KOKO for £20.00, or purchase yourself a Weekend Ticket for £67.50 and for those posh readers, a VIP Weekend Ticket will set you back £150.00.

Have you been before? Any tips for a rookie? If not, are you going this year? Let us know in the comments, or talk to us on Twitter or Facebook! I’ll see you at 4am if it kills me.

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1 Response

  1. 2012/04/26

    […] shows in America and the upcoming Camden Crawl, PeteHatesMusic caught up over email with Jack Goldstein from Fixers to discuss things such as the […]