Visit Camden next week and you might stumble upon a mythical creature floating on Camden Lock, designer Wayne Hemingway giving a talk on his brilliant career and hundreds of people all over the city coming together to enjoy a drink on the canal. This will be the start of the first ever Camden Create festival - a three-day event of talks, walks and workshops celebrating creativity in the area - which will be taking place at various top local venues. It's been a long time in the making but through blood, sweat and tears (and laughs I should add), we think we've pulled together an exciting line up to show that Camden and the neighbouring areas are the places to be when it comes to creativity.
The festival is an extension of the work we do at Camden Town Unlimited. CTU is a collection of local businesses that came together to make Camden a better place to work, live and visit. Back then, Camden had fallen behind. We knew the area had the potential to get back to the top -so we brought in a number of initiatives to improve the area such as a £10 million streetscape regeneration plan and a local discount card scheme with more than 100 registered local businesses and 8000 residents signed up.
Camden Collective is another example of the work we've been doing to enhance the area. Collective is a project focusing on the creative industries and has been supporting people and businesses setting up their own companies.
Camden Town is an area long associated with creativity and culture. From as far back as the 19th century when Charles Dickens lived on Bayham Street to bands who formed on the Camden streets like Madness (they were popular in the 80's kids - ask your parents) and important cultural movements such as Punk and Britpop, it's somewhere that's been inspiring people for years. Venues where all time greats like Jimi Hendrix (again kids ask your parents) have performed such as The Roundhouse, are still as popular as ever keeping Camden's cultural heritage alive. There is so much on offer here - just take a walk down the high street and you'll see people from all walks of life.
For the line up of the Camden Create festival, we've worked hard to put together events that will remind everyone what is great about the area, show off some of Camden's hidden gems as well as genuinely offering somewhere to get advice on how to break into creative industries. Famous local names such as Wayne Hemingway, owner of world renowned fashion label Red or Dead, who began his empire with a stall on the Lock Market in 1982, is among the names that will be giving back to the area where they started by holding talks on their successful careers. He will stand alongside future Camden legends such as photographer Wendy Bevan who will be showing a collection of new and unseen self-portraits and talking through starting out in the industry today. There will also be CV and portfolio workshops for anyone looking for that extra helping hand to secure their dream job.
We couldn't forget that as well as being a great place to work, Camden is a great place to come out and play. Come down and explore the area through our food, photography and architecture walks; enjoy a few cocktails while sailing down the Regent's Canal with award winning vodka and join us at the wrap party at one of Camden's most famous venues, The Jazz Café where we'll be celebrating a fantastic three days.
The main things we want to achieve with this event are to position Camden at the centre of the creative industries and celebrate the area in all its glory. We also hope that up and coming companies and entrepreneurs will come and set up shop here after seeing what a great place it is to be. I've said it before and I'll say it again - in the future, people will ask if you were at the first Camden Create and I'll be proud to say that I was right there in the thick of it.
Tickets cost £20 for a day pass and £55 for the three days.