So by now we all know about the Camden Crawl going into liquidation. I’ve been following the story closely, because as a website we booked a show for them, we had four bands play for us and as it stands they are not going to get paid for the gig we asked them to play. Usually I’d just read about the situation, shake my head where applicable, and go about my business. In this case, because of our vested interest, because I feel so shitty. I decided to share some thoughts, I figured I'd do it as a numbered list, the reason for that is point number one.

If you lose interest because it's TL:DR, the most important thing to take from this piece is: If the Camden Crawl owe you money you must submit a claim to the liquidator to stand any chance of getting your money back. There are more details at the bottom of the page.

1. There are no journalists left in music. There are only commenters, copy-and-pasters, click-baiters and lowest common denominators. Not one story that I have read about Camden Crawl said anything of note, checked any facts, researched, offered anything. The first to appear published three tweets from upset musicians, and all of the news that followed worked out from there until a statement was issued. Then the statement was just repeated. The occasional sentence was dropped into the piece to defend against charges of actual plagiarism I guess, usually something completely unsubstantiated, playing up to the increasing anger sweeping across social media platforms. I'm left wondering if one perpetuates the other, and if so, which one.

2. There is a lot of (valid) anger at musicians not getting paid for a gig. They signed contracts. It's just that anger was quickly tied to underlying issues that had nothing to do with the Camden Crawl. "Musicians are always the first ones that get screwed". "Music is treated like it's disposable these days". I'm not going to defend musicians not getting paid, or disagree with the two quotes I pulled from twitter, I'm angry too. I was inadvertently part of the process. I spend my life championing music that I believe in, I'm just as fucked off at creative people getting shafted, again. I just think it's an interesting point to make; The thing happens. We are upset about the thing. We see it as part of a bigger thing. We are angry about the whole thing. I guess that's natural - it's just a shame our "pitchfork" is a total car advert or we could parade up to the gates with our torches lit.

3. There were warning signs before the event. Bands/labels are now talking about not getting advance deposits for the show, which with hindsight, says a lot. Also, and this is one of the big questions I have. The festival had moved to Dublin for a year because it wasn't working out in London. So when they came back to London they changed the format, because they had to, but what made them think it would work this time, who made that judgement call? Questions and answers come later in this process.

4. A multi-venue festival with individually curated stages/venues does not work, although it is a great idea. Here's why it doesn't work: If you give 10 people £1,000 each to spend on booking an evenings entertainment then it stands that you are going to spend £10,000, but if you give 1 person a job and a budget of £10,000 to book all of the entertainment, then they'll have a vested interest to keep those costs down (I'm plucking those figures from the air by the way). Other multi-venue festivals have a booker, or a team of bookers, that ensure the entire festival ends up as a coherent set of shows. What Camden Crawl needed the most, was some direction from the top, from where they could see the bigger picture. Instead it had several people like us, who to the best of their ability booked shows that represented their weird corner of music, as you'd expect us to do. As a result, the festival as a whole ended up having no overall identity, and unfortunately for everyone, it didn't have thirty quids worth of niche either.

5. There was an advert a few years ago before an election, probably the one you didn't vote in, the one that allowed the tories back into power but whatever, it said, "if you don't vote, you don't get to complain" - I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea. I don't remember agreeing with it at the time, I thought it was pretty ridiculous, y'know I'm a human, I can talk and complain about whatever I like. Anyway, as the anger built up on social media, bands and their fans started making increasingly aggro statements against the Camden Crawl organisers, which I also thought was pretty ridiculous. Abuse won't get the money back. It was as I clicked back through their social media pages that I thought of that advert. Some of the bands who were now impressing ideas of violence, had not talked about the gig on social media, at all. I'm all for freedom of expression, I am, but if you don't tell your fans that you are playing a gig how can you be surprised or pissed that nobody comes to see it...

6. The best thing you can do is talk about it. The first 24 hours were just rumours and outrage. Rumours and outrage that bounced off each other and escalated by the tweet. Camden Crawl should've put their statement out earlier. Scrap that. They should've been proactive in approaching not just the bands, but all the people they owe money. They should've organised the festival better. They should've booked a coherent bill of bands before approaching websites to endorse them. They should've done a lot of things, but they didn't, so they went into voluntary liquidation.

7. A lot of people who are really righteously angry haven't looked into the process of voluntary liquidation. Which, in many ways, links back to my first point. I'm assuming that if there was a half decent music press then the news coverage of the story would've explained some things and dampened the fury. As much as not providing anyone with the money they were promised can dampen fury anyway. So here goes...

You go into voluntary liquidation when, as a company, you owe more than you have. You appoint a liquidator to make the best of that shitty situation. The liquidator will try to pool together everything the company has that is worth anything. Then try to agree all the creditors claims, and if possible, pay a portion of the debt owed, from whatever assets the company has left.

When a company goes into voluntary liquidation they have 14 days to organise a meeting of creditors. It's at that meeting that the questions are answered by the directors, that the creditors (the people involved that are owed money) get to argue over who gets the crumbs. Yet nobody is talking about this, instead of saying "we don't know yet" they are provoking anger by asking rhetorical questions and in certain cases making inflammatory statements with no proof at all. "I bet so and so got paid". "They're going to prioritise the ____ over the bands". The fact is, we won't know any of the details until the meeting on the 11th.

The other fact is, and this is the important one, unless the parties that are owed money submit a claim to the liquidator, they won't get paid at all. They have to submit a claim (by midday on the 10th at the latest) to the liquidator, in order to be recognised at that meeting. I'll repeat that. If you are a band that is owed money you have to contact the liquidator and let them know that you are owed money. Maybe dig out that contract you were sent. They are called Libertas Associates Limited. You can email them ( or if you want to talk it through, call them (020 8634 5599). Do stay calm though, this is not twitter, and none of this is their fault. The other option if you are owed money is to authorise a proxy to go to the shareholder/creditor meeting for you and fight your corner. It might be easier to pool together and make sure you are represented at the meeting.

I'd be interested to know how many bands complain about not getting paid without making a legal claim to the money they are owed. I'm not saying that the anger is not justified, I'm not saying the world is a wonderful place, I'm saying there are still options left that are more viable than complaining online.