camden

Many of the acts who have featured on our bills have gone on to big things: when Mogwai played the 1996 Crawl, they weren't the post-rock darlings they later became; in 2007, Adele wasn't even dreaming of the success of 21; likewise, 2008's Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons are now mainstream acts in their own right.
We're entering the final furlong at Crawl HQ - the Crawl begins on 4 May. This means every job is now completed at a frenzied sprint, and this is without factoring in what's shaping up to be an equally exciting - and therefore equally demanding - festival over in Dublin.
If I've been doing my job right, the one message that would have come out of this series of blogs so far would be loud and clear: if you're running a festival, expect to work hard.
A great line-up is all very well, but ultimately your festival is only as good as the crowd it attracts: if you have fantastic bands but only four people to watch them, you don't have a festival.
This week was what it's all about: bands, DJs, solo artists and more bands. Running a music festival can sometimes seem about everything except music - the form-filling, the meetings, the co-ordination, people management, marketing, budgets, promotions and millions of emails. Ultimately, though, the hard work you put into these things is aimed at creating the best festival line-up and punter experience.
When I first started toying with the idea of exporting the Camden Crawl model to like-minded communities, the Irish capital wasn't the obvious first step that it should have been. I spent two years going round the houses - looking at Paris, Manchester, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Madrid, before winding up in Dublin last summer.
In years past we've had everything from Madness playing on an open-top bus, to Amy Winehouse or Adele crooning in a bar, to a band like Cerebral Ballzy tearing their venue apart. Putting all this together is like constructing a 3D puzzle using only verbal instructions. But when you get it right, it just clicks.
It might seem like running a festival by committee is like taking up herding cats as a hobby, but in some ways it makes things much easier. Our committee is made up of grizzled veterans of the grassroots music scene, and they know what they like - so the element of democracy this approach brings can also cause a few headaches.
I'm approaching 20 years of involvement in the Camden Crawl, the metropolitan music and arts festival in London I helped set up in the mid-Nineties... The environment of live music has changed beyond recognition since those days.
Pub conversations often lead to stupid banter, but when you inhabit Camden you get to see a lot of stupid stuff. You also get to see a lot of stupid stuff appertaining to something that once a upon a time was called 'rock and roll'.