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Live music, virtual Carnival ūüíÉ

Covid-safe live events, culture and Bank Holiday reading;  celebrating London's most creative and innovative neighbourhoods.

> Friday 28 August 2020

Welcome to an August Bank Holiday Weekend like no other.

 1. Virtual Carnival Time 

It may be West London-based and not taking place this year, but Notting Hill Carnival remains all London's most vital and vibrant cultural event, so we always encourage full participation. The organisers are attempting to fill the huge street party-shaped void in the Bank Holiday with an innovative series of streaming events - click the video above for the live YouTube feed or sign in for loads more dedicated Mas band, steelband and virtual parade channels. Equally exciting is the Spotify dedicated Carnival music site, featuring soundsystem playlists, podcasts and live audio streaming on Sunday and Monday. Jump up (from the sofa) and blow those virtual horns and whistles!

   2. Live Music is Back in Camden Town  

In the week that local music venues including the Dublin Castle, Camden Assembly and Jazz Cafe finally received some grant support to tide them through their extended lockdowns, The Blues Kitchen is one Camden spot gearing up for weekend of live performances. Their house bands are back, playing live soul and funk classics Fridays and Saturdays, with a special Women of Soul event until late this Bank Holiday Sunday, too. You'll have to stay seated, but the BBQ wings, ribs and burgers should help with that bit.

   3. One-to-One Shows Are Go  

York Way arts destination 

Kings Place

has faced an uncertain future due to Covid, but has responded with the

Culture Clinic

series; free 15-minute up-close-and-personal performances for audience of just six people. World renowned singers, poets and instrumentalists play a bespoke piece in response to hearing your own lockdown experiences. The venue has also announced an autumn season of outdoor, socially distanced in-hall shows and live streams, too.


 5. Weedy But Well 

For a Bank Holiday alternative that ticks all the key wellness boxes right now, download the map known as Wayward, Wild & Weedy. It's a slow wellbeing walk through the urban undergrowth of King's Cross, put together by community garden champions Global Generation. From the manicured greenery of Handyside Gardens to the untamed canal towpath and on to GG's latest project, The Story Garden, currently sprouting right behind The British Library, on the way you'll discover flora and fauna to identify, draw and simply enjoy. Take off on your own, or join one of the various small group tours currently booking for the weeks ahead.

   5. Forkbeard Conquers Chalk Farm  

Camden Market

 is home to Viking-inspired men's uber-grooming brand

Swen Forkbeard,

 who this weekend expand beyond simply providing 130 different organic pomades, beard oils and balms, by launching their first barber shop in the middle of Stables Market. Master Barbers including Robbie Jones (pictured) are offering a free cut and wash this opening Saturday (29th) for bookings and walk ups, and then daily hot towel shaves, beard trims and regular grooming lessons.

  • Heard the buzz around the 15-minute city concept? The Covid era has brought living a short walk/ride from everything you need into urgent focus. Read the latest blog from Camden Town Unlimited on how we can make cities more livable.

  • The Camden In Bloom competition closes this Sunday, which marks the deadline for the borough's green-fingered to submit photos of their window boxes, communal gardens or street tree plots, all focused on the theme of sustainability.

  • In more plant news, Castlehaven's Horticulture Hub on Hawley Road is offering a simple but very useful (and sustainable) Pot Swap, every Wednesday (1am-3pm) where you can bring or take away all shapes and sizes of plant receptacle.

  • American financial website Business Insider has been speaking to traders at Camden Market and Spitalfields about their fears over low customer numbers this summer. If you agree with them that you don't want the chains to move in, now's the time to visit and - dare we say it - even start thinking Christmas presents.

  • What's it like when you rent accommodation for a living, but there are suddenly no people? This week's Covid Stories interview comes from a Camden-based agent who had to think on his feet to survive - but his ingenuity paid off.

  • As London continues its slow return to full speed, making sure our air quality doesn't return to 'normal' is a priority. You can find the cleanest walking or cycling route, based on up-to-the-minute data, via Euston Town's Air Quality Hub. There's a nifty route planning tool that shows the lowest pollution levels from A to B locally, or for journeys across town.

  • There's ¬£15 of free ice cream currently up for grabs, and all you have to do is get juicily creative. Post the resulting artwork, photo or whatever to Ruby Violet via email or Insta and their ice team will bestow frozen prizes upon their favourite.

  • If you regularly marvel at the Gothic splendor of St Pancras Station, there's a whole episode of The Architecture The Railways Built dedicated to the building, currently available to stream on UKTVPlay channel Yesterday.

  • We're approaching the last day of Eat Out to Help Out, but many restaurants are extending the deal to keep the tables full into September. These include Coal Drops Yard's Hicce with their own #EatOutOut scheme, and nearby Arabica, who are also running Eat Out to Support Beirut all this weekend, too. 

The Camdenist newsroom is 100% collaborative and transparent. We'd love you to participate, so we've built a form where you can leave ideas/info on who or what we should be featuring in the email or on the website next. Join in now.

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