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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Biannual Club Crawl hits ground running downtown


    Twice a year, Tucsonans stumble en masse from stage to stage along Congress Street in a drunken frenzy. They look kind of like zombies, but they’re louder and more fun, and they feed on the confections of local vendors rather than flesh. This scene is called Club Crawl.

    In its 19 years as one of Tucson’s biggest showcases of local talent, Club Crawl has also served as one of the premier drinking events of the year. “It just happens to be a party with live music,” said Jeb Schoonover, one of the founders.

    According to Schoonover, the event was originally called Showcase Shuffle when it started in 1993. Inspired by Austin’s South By Southwest concert extravaganza, Showcase Shuffle was an immediate hit.

    Clubs called event organizers and pushed for them to set up the stages again soon, Schoonover said. He couldn’t have agreed more.

    In 1997, the showcase was renamed Club Crawl, as the point of the event is for attendees to stagger their way to each club to see their favorite artists and listen to some new sounds. In that same year, Club Crawl became a biannual event, with one showcase in the spring and one in the fall. No matter the season, the event has never been short on attendees — and it’s always had plenty of fresh artists.

    A household name in Arizona football, though he might be unknown to younger fans, is Steve McLaughlin. As a Wildcat, he nabbed the 1994 Lou Groza Award for the best college kicker in the United States. When he wasn’t punting the ball like a beast, he was performing in a band called Pet The Fish, which has opened for groups like Weezer and Dave Matthews Band.

    The band broke up during his career as a St. Louis Ram, so in 2010, he went solo with his first full-length album, No More Record Stores. Now, he’s headed to Club Crawl to reign as champion once more.

    Another act to watch for is Chali 2na, a hip-hop artist known for his work in bands like Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli. Schoonover described the sound as a blend of hip-hop, funk and soul.

    Schoonover said the modern streetcar construction will not cause any inconvenience for crawlers this weekend. The city agreed to open up a corridor on Sixth Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Congress for attendees to walk through. The only change is that the Tejano music stage has moved to Sixth Avenue and Broadway Boulevard.

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