With a bit of imagination, you can imagine the Carnaby Street of old. True, you’ll note a conspicuous dearth of RAF roundels, and Mick Jagger is almost certain to be nowhere in sight. But this three-block stretch of shops and boutiques has managed to maintain a surprising edge given its location along the nape of Regent Street, which has long been wrapped in the luxuriant fabrics of high-end mega-retail.
On Saturday July 6, Carnaby Street looks to sharpen that edge with Carnaby Sound, a one-day festival celebrating the street’s musical heritage. As we went to press a full line-up had yet to be announced, but the raw numbers are promising: 15 live bands, 20 DJs and 100 years of London-centric tunes spanning jazz, blues, mod, rap, rock and more. Confirmed acts, meanwhile, include guitar-pop four-piece Night Engine, indie-nerd trio Young Knives and the radio-conquering Kids In Glass Houses, performing on the rooftop.
Of course, the Carnaby sound of cash registers is the festival’s real motivator, and dozens of shopping promotions are also on offer. Prepare to be tempted by free demos at Make Up Store and Pixi, lyric printing on canvas bags at Cheap Monday and widespread 20 per cent discounts, to name but a few. Or, if you’re among those who prefer drinking to shopping, head to the White Horse pub’s real ale and cider festival, followed by an inevitable trip to one of many street food vendors.