A new family music festival in the former Olympic Park, Open East has a great international music line-up which belies the cheap-as-chips ticket price.
Familiar names on Saturday night include epic Celtic rock group The Waterboys, while on Sunday the bill is topped by Jamaican toaster U-Roy, and Seun Kuti, the son of Afrobeat champion Fela Kuti, leading his father's band Egypt 80 and collaborating with New York hip hop duo Dead Prez. Mali Folie, also playing on Saturday, is an exciting Malian supergroup including blind desert blues couple Amadou And Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré (son of Ali) and Fatoumata Diawara, and other highlights across the weekend include Congolese funk band Jupiter And Okwess International and Colombian grooves by Ondatropica.
A stage hosted by the culture website Caught By The River hosts a range of leftfield art-rock artists including intelligent punk originals Wire, ex-Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, and rising Heavenly Records artists Stealing Sheep (blissful psychedelic folk, pictured, left) and Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs (riotous, clattering proto-punk).
Beside the music, there'll also be plenty of drum workshops, dance and rap performances by local youth companies, participatory performance art, an enormous iron man, a Cockney knees-up, bingo and maple dancing, performers and puppets from the National Theatre's War Horse, a food festival (and a local brewery exposition for grown-ups only), a biosphere, a floating cinema, a 'House of Fairy Tales', a story centre for children including a hip hop puppet adventure, markets (a design bazaar and an art car boot fair), and London-centric talks by speakers including musician Bob Stanley, historian Travis Elborough, Michael Smith and Tom Bolton. And if you don't think all of that is worth £9.50, you may need your head examined.
Enfolded within Camden Market, this building may have been a horse hospital at one point in its lifetime, but it certainly ain't an animal refuge any more. The cobbled floors remain, as do the stables, but they've been spruced up and turned into booths. The roof terrace has also been revamped with bright colours and twee bunting. The main space is usually decked with artwork on the walls and also has a stage for live bands. There's a cabaret room on the other side of the venue and, of course, a bar serving up the usual tipples. Club nights here usually feature indie-electro, synth-pop, R&B, hip hop and funk.
Venue says: “From Drizzy to Dizzee, we play you the best in hip hop, trap and grime every Wednesday at Proud Camden.”