Camden’s Music Walk of Fame
– what’s your view?
Camden’s Music Walk of Fame – what’s your view?
Camden Music Walk of Fame is an ambitious project – that was somewhat stalled by Covid – aiming to turn the pavements of Camden Town into the UK music equivalent of LA’s Hollywood Boulevard of stars.
You’ll likely have walked over the first few stones and spotted the likes of local heroes Madness, Soul II Soul and Amy Winehouse being honoured, alongside obvious wider national legends The Who and David Bowie.
This month, that lot will be joined by 11 new icons – a few more with strong local connections, and some others perhaps a touch more confusing in the immediacy of their selection – but all musical legends without a doubt.
With Hollywood’s original walk now a top global tourist attraction (numbering 2,762 sidewalk-honoured stars and counting), what do Camden locals feel about bringing such a project onto their own already crowded streets?
Is the MWOF the best way to support the ongoing vibrancy of live music in Camden, or just the latest idea rehashing former glories?
We asked readers of our free weekly Friday morning newsletter (are you signed up yet?) to vote in a quick poll and submit their opinions, which came back largely enthusiastic for the project.
Here are the results of the vote:
What do you feel about the Hollywood-style attraction being placed in the areas pavements?
😍 I’m all for it – celebrating great musicians and bringing visitors to the area
⚖️ It’s ok, but I’m not sure it’s the best way to support Camden’s music scene
🔇 I don’t like it – more tourists and the same old bands being honoured
Comments we’re largely supportive too, although many voice concerns that the Walk wasn’t addressing the real issue: “money may be better spent helping keeping music venues open”, said one about the well-known travails of venues.
“The walk of fame is good, but the most important thing is to protect independent venues from developers and people that move into the area then try and close down establish venues on noise grounds”, agreed a Matt K.
Among those most supportive of the scheme, reader Richard R commented “This supports existing and new musical institutions in Camden”, although he didn’t suggest how, but we assume he means by keeping the area at the centre of attention when it comes to music.
Another, (interestingly coming from an email address at one of the UK’s biggest festival companies), felt the opposite, suggesting that the Walk only adds to the perceived Disneyfication of the area’s once authentic scene and venues: “It feels like a tourist cliche…meanwhile small venues are less present, and it’s harder than ever to work as a touring artist in Europe, too. And we get ugly lumps like that Insta-ready sparkle-pony on Tottenham Court Rd [we suppose this is Outernet – Ed] as a replacement for the Astoria. No wonder we look back!”
One reader had some constructive criticism of the rather stop-start nature of the walk to date, which is hopefully to be remedied by this week’s flurry of new stone-laying. “They should all face the same way so you can walk along in one direction. The David Bowie one is the best as the pavements are usually dirty and the blue shows through. I am glad you are continuing again as it only makes sense if there are lots of them.”
The only spot of real negativity came from someone with the usual gripes about how popular the area is with visitors: “Camden is too crowded already. I loved lockdown, when the market was closed and the streets were for residents!”
Got an opinion of your own? Join the debate via the weekly email. Meanwhile, the full programme for the unveiling of the new plaques and the free 2-day music festival in the streets of Camden town are all here.
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