Alma Street Festival, or What Summer Sundays Are For

Mrs Kentishtowner is quite happy to admit that she is not a festival person. The only night she recalls under …

Mrs Kentishtowner is quite happy to admit that she is not a festival person. The only night she recalls under the stars was at the Secret Garden Party, back in 05, where she was forced to flee at the crack of dawn from the maddening thwub of teenage revellers in the tent next door.

And so the prospect of the Alma Street Festival had our First Lady coming out in a cold sweat, despite its proximity to Kentishtowner Towers. “But what about the toilets?” she insisted, more than once, her eyes blank with visions of stinking portaloos. She was, of course, forgetting that the Map Cafe would be a stone’s throw away, and the comforts of home not much further, should she feel – perish the thought – an unavoidable movement or two down below.

And yet there was no need to worry one bit. We arrived at lunchtime and a few pints of Camden Town lager later, all anxieties had been renounced – including her previous aversion to the outdoor life. “It’s like Notting Hill Carnival meets Ibeeefa!” she screamed, piling yet another cupcake into her mouth, before pushing through the thousand-strong crowd to the, um, rather esoteric cocktail stand. Hic.

And so the afternoon floated by in bursts of cloud and sunshine. Things we liked? Fantastic food from Kentish Towners Pane Vino, Delicious, Mario’s Cafe, and Parliament Hill Farmer’s Market regular Poppy’s Kitchen (we heart your tarts); beer from the local brewery; and dozens of local artists, artisans, designers, and residents flogging their wares and – well – whatever else they fancied. We loved this guy .

Oh, and decent music too, across two stages: local hero Mr Hudson swaggered in, dishing up a few hits including the ace ‘Supernova’; dubstep electro hopefuls Dansette Junior dazzled in the late afternoon sun, especially with the Kentish Town-referencing ‘Drums N Bass’; and the woozy, by this time excitable, crowd went crazy for the headliners, a brilliantly comic duo called North Of Ping Pong.

Best of all was the atmosphere amongst the huge crowd: this was a real slice-of-life event representing every aspect of our diverse neighbourhood: black, white, straight, gay, young, old, rich, poor. So thank you, the Inkerman Residents Assocation – and everyone else involved – for such an inclusive, impressively curated afternoon.

“What summer sundays are most definitely for, innit,” slurred Mrs Kentishtowner, trying on a little patois for size, as we wobbled back down Queen’s Crescent to let the dog out.

Do you know which artist this is by? Good, isn’t it? Let us know so we can credit them.


  • Show Comments

  • Leslie Wilson-Rutterford

    Thanks for the great blog! It was splendid, weren’t it? Bagged some lovely bargains at the jumble tables, had a luverly Mexican crepe at the Torriano Pub Creperie, cap & brownie at Mario’s, met some fab artists and crafters (scouting for talent for my Dandy Lion Market at the Boogaloo), saw old friends, made new ones and just, quite simply, felt glad to be a member of this melting pot called Kentish Town!

  • Kentishtowner

    Oh yeah we missed the crepes! Can you tell us more about the dandy lion market – sounds ace…

  • Ahsan

    Hello! The artist is called Joseph Robins, I bought the very same postcard…

  • freespaceatthewigg

    Only just seen this and has brought back happy memories.
    To find out more about local art talent and to see some great art shows visit the Free Space Gallery based in the Kentish Town Health Centre. We helped curate the Art Street this year and loved every bit of it!
    Next show next Thursday,4th August, by Iraqi artist and refugee Emad Altaay. Also there will be cakes and candy floss to celebrate!

  • Sam

    Hi! Do you know if there’ll be another one this year? Who organises it and is there a way to get involved? Love local projects like these :-]

  • Annie

    Hi there! I know the artist name is VFSix. Very good, isn’t it? 😉