Stag and Dagger in Shoreditch

Simian Mobile Disco headline Stag and Dagger 2010. Photo: Margaret London.

Stag and Dagger returns to Shoreditch this Friday for the third year running. The all-night, multi-venue festival has a line-up to die for.

There is pick of the crop big names like headliners Simian Mobile Disco and These New Puritans (pictured, below), plus enough little-knowns to ensure you leave with a list of Myspaces to check out that is as long as your arm.

This year’s festival is set to be bigger than ever with an estimated 6,000-strong crowd heading up Shoreditch-way to cram into the 21 host venues. You can exchange your ticket for a wristband, flash this at the entrance to any of the venues, and gain access to over 100 live music acts including Starkey, Archie Bronson Outfit, The Bug, and Pulled Apart By Horses.

There will also be DJs, art shows, and film screenings. The festival organisers say be sure to get there early if you want to see your favourite act – entry to each venue is strictly first come first served, so once they are full, they are full. Doors open at 6pm.

The big draw is likely to be the late-night party at Hearn Street Car Park where Simian Mobile Disco will play a DJ set on a bill alongside Casper CAllez-Allez, and Germany’s Dopplereffekt, who rarely play in England. But for those who wish to scout out new talent, there is a wealth of it on offer at the smaller venues such as The Macbeth and Jaguar Shoes, where line-ups are curated by representatives from every corner of the creative industries.

These New Puritans headline at 93 Feet East. Photo: Margaret London.

Where other festivals may cater to a scene, Stag and Dagger has a reputation for offering variety. Stephanie Knox is Press Manager for Margaret London, who run the festival alongside Adventures in the Beetroot Field and in association with VICE Magazine. She says there is no dominant ‘sound’ across the event:

“This year’s festival has something for everyone, from the harder sounds of the Galvanised stage at Vibe Bar, to dubstep and bass at the Hyponik stage in East Village, and more acoustic stuff at the Spread Eagle.”

The organisers of Stag and Dagger like to keep the festival as exciting as possible, not only in terms of the line-up but also by choosing new partners each year, who bring with them a fresh approach to curating the stages.  In addition, they welcome evermore Shoreditch venues into the Stag and Dagger fold as they open. Stephanie explains:

“We have a film partnership with Branchage Film Festival, hosting the Sexbeat stage at Cafe 1001, where there will be films playing to accompany the live music. Time Out are also hosting their own stage for the first time at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. There are some venues involved this year, that weren’t around last year, for example The Book Club, which opened last October.”

Representing the lively music scene in this area is something that Stephanie feels is integral to the festival:

“Shoreditch is a natural hub of social and cultural activity and there are so many places to go out and see music. It’s great to have so many young and old music lovers gathered in the one place, and it’s nice to feel that there is some unity and cohesion to the area, as this is the first multi-venue festival in the area.”

And Stag and Dagger will continue to make their presence known long after Friday night’s throng has dispersed. They will be hosting Stag and Dagger parties throughout the year.

To see the full Stag and Dagger line-up and buy tickets click here.

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