Upstart Crow is a festival dedicated to “the art of song” which takes place on the UCF stage under the canopy in Spitalfields with eight hours of original music. The festival is free and runs from midday to 8pm this Sunday (October 1st). Headlining this year is Daniel Romano – the Canadian Juno-nominated musician, poet and visual artist – who will be playing a one-off solo acoustic show for the festival ahead of November full-band dates. Also appearing are Robert Chaney, Trevor Moss And Hannah Lou, Benedict Benjamin, Pete Greenwood, Bad Parents, Felix Holt And The Radicals, Joe Wilkes, Emily C. Smith, Hank Dogs, Lorraine Wood and Emma Harwood. And if you’re not sure about any of them (or all of them if you’re overly harsh/ignorant) then there’s a Spotify playlist available to fill in those blanks.
The Upstart Crow ethos is described as “hard work, exacting musicianship, compelling songwriting and a vigour to put on a really great show” but in addition to the festival, the organisation is interested in how music can bring about positive change in society, with festival director, James Burton and project partner Andrew Harwood, running music and songwriting workshops in London prison drug rehabilitation wings. The aim of the project is to support prisoners who experiencing the trauma of drug withdrawal and help them through the rehabilitation process. Which is as good a reason for supporting a festival as any, particularly when it’s free. Find out more about it here.