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The George Tavern's Halloweekender showcases the power of community

31 October 2023, 13:52 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Over the course of their Halloween extravaganza, The George Tavern has united the London music scene via a five-night series of tributes, covers, and parodies.

Whilst anyone South of the river will tell you that The Windmill is the best venue in London, those who are on the other side pledge allegiance to The George Tavern. There's no need for competition, of course. As the George has proven over the years, they believe in the power of community and offering to all kinds of people – whether you're an artist, musician, or a regular Joe – a space to enjoy a pint, live music and, within the past week; pizza.

Their now-infamous Halloweekender kicked off on Friday evening (27 October), promising five nights of carnage as they invited the London music scene to come together and form supergroups, to perform a series of cover sets. House Arrest, Neuroplacid and Plutoz Beach took on Britney Spears, whilst Mary in the Junkyard and friends amplified The Cure songs with the help of a viola. Members of Tapir! were keen to flex their musical muscles as they performed Kraftwerk on Friday, and headlined the Saturday evening alongside Honeyglaze and New Hat as Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Kraftwerk Tapir George Halloween 23 17
Photo Credit: James Ward

Sunday evening (29 October) saw Fräulein join forces with Human Interest as they tackled a set of songs from both PJ Harvey and The Kills. Fresh from their brief hiatus, Roscoe Roscoe, Facelift, Ava, and The Last Whole Earth Catalogue flexed their skills as self-confessed "Radiohead nerds", which included an impressive mashup of "Creep" and "Just", before handing the stage over to The Smashing Pumpkins which included members of The Last Dinner Party, Sulk, Web, and Palace Watson.

Yesterday (30 October) was the official launch party for their pizza kitchen, and not ones to take a day off, The George Tavern held a pub quiz and guitar hero karaoke. Tonight they wrap up the Halloweekender celebrations with the likes of Heka, Blue Bendy; a set which includes songs from Lord of the Rings; and Roscoe Roscoe's take on David Bowie.

With the help of booker and venue manager Fran Albrecht, who has been working with the venue since 2019, and Katie Craik who became Albrecht's partner-in-crime a year and a half ago, The George Tavern is cultivating a community of people who rely on these spaces as artists and creatives, and are actively curating nights which encourage people to visit the venue. Between a busy live schedule, karaoke nights, documentary screenings and pub quizzes, they're doing their bit to help protect the independent venue by keeping it a place that you want to return to, time and time again.

Radiohead halloweekender 19 Ellie Cooper elliecooperphotography
Photo Credit: Ellie Cooper

The George Tavern is one of the longest standing public houses and music venues in the heart of East London. Under the helm of its landlady Pauline Forster, the venue has been able to defeat constant battles with Tower Hamlets Council to prevent plans for residential properties to be built on the site of the Grade II listed building.

A true believer in preserving artistic spaces, Forster has been fighting battle after battle since she bought the pub in 2001, and has even enlisted the help of friends and public figures such as Grace Jones, Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss in order to spread the message of her 'Save The George Tavern' campaign. In 2017 she was awarded the John Young Memorial Award for acts significant to helping pubs in London.

Records of The George Tavern go back to 1623, and due to its authentic interiors, has been selected as a location for BBC period dramas – from the 2015 movie Mr Holmes, starring Sir Ian McKellan, to a documentary on the Kray twins. Profits from filming and photoshoots help to subsidise the live music venue and ongoing restoration of the building.

Lead Photo Credit: Ashley Evans

For tickets to The George Tavern's final Halloweekender night, which takes place this evening, visit

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