Music Festival

Governors Ball 2016: Not a Total Washout

By Anthony Bauer, September 13th 2016 — with 1 comment

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When you’re a music festival organizer/promoter, you’re hoping & praying that the chosen weekend will zero chance of rain or severe weather. It’s a huge risk, and as we’ve seen in the past… it can literally go either way. This years Governors Ball Music Festival literally had its fair share of both good and bad weather, but that didn’t stop it from still being a memorable weekend at all.

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Beck

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M83

Day 1 and day 2 were chock full of outstanding performances, and the standouts for me were Black Pistol Fire, Christine and the Queens, Action Bronson, Big Grams, Father John Misty, Beck, Block Party, The Strokes, Torres, Lord Huron, De La Soul, Miguel, Miike Snow, The Killers and M83. Were things started to get a little complicated was during Haim’s set on the main stage when the weather decided to finally turn from questionable to dreadful in literally a split second.

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Let me set the scene: I was standing in the crowd with my raincoat on as well as the rain fly already snapped around my camera bag. A guy standing near me tapped my shoulder and goes “hey man, why are you all decked out in rain gear, the weather is fine! You’re a big baby!” Not even 10 seconds later, the sky turned dark grey and decided to open up and let out a mighty downpour. As I stand there comfortable and 100% dry, I look over to the guy who tapped my shoulder earlier and realized he was gone as he was running sprinting for cover wherever he could find it.

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Silent Disco

The rain didn’t let up one bit, and when it did… it was only for a brief moment. It continued into the 8pm – 9pm sets of Miike Snow & Purity Ring and didn’t let up or stop until about 10 minutes into The Killers/M83’s day closing sets. People were scrambling for cover anywhere – under trees, sponsor tents, the Silent Disco, the Bacardi House Stage Tent and even in port-a-pottys (yes, this really happened). Even though the rain let up, it left some not so desirable conditions all over the festival grounds but there was still hope that day 3 would be rain–free.

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Now, for those of you who did not attend this years GovBall or hear what happened, day 3 of the fest got cancelled due to the threat of very severe thunderstorms (w/severe lighting) looming within the tri–state area. This was very disappointing because for me, day 3 was the sleeper day of the festival that was full of amazing acts. Whitney (who has one of my favorite albums of the year) was in an early day kickoff slot, there was Bat For Lashes, Cold War Kids, Vince Staples, Eagles of Death Metal, Chvrches, Courtney Barnett, Galantis, Prophets of Rage, Two Door Cinema Club, Gary Clark Jr., Death Cab for Cutie and of course Kanye West. The day was LITERALLY full from beginning to end of non–stop greatness… and none of it would happen (at least on festival grounds).

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Courtney Barnett

With the announcement of the cancellation of day 3, everyones natural reaction was to jump right online and check venue schedules to see who was open and could take a day 3 performer on as a last minute show. Low and behold, several venues were wide open all day and could accommodate a number of the bands that were scheduled to play day 3. While several shows got booked throughout the city, I converged onto North 9th street in Williamsburg and hopped on line at Rough Trade as Courtney Barnett announced she would be playing a 100% FREE show (no festival wristband required).

Well, I’ll keep this short and sweet: even though she had a good timeslot at GovBall, het set at Rough Trade made up for day 3 and then some. For a free show, it was everything you could have imagined. She played literally everything you wanted her to play, she even threw in and mixed some covers!

For more photos, see below:

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3 (Courtney Barnett at Rough Trade):

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Newport Folk Festival 2016 – Day 3 Recap

By Will Oliver, August 31st 2016

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(Alabama Shakes)

After a busy day 1 and day 2 of Newport Folk Fest, it was time to wrap it up with what was probably the most jam-packed day of the entire weekend at Newport.

I began my day with an energetic set from The Oh Hellos, who won over all of the crowd in the same way they won both Ross (at Bowery Ballroom) and myself (at Terminal 5) last year. There’s no doubt they’ll be returning to the festival again, they were one of the first bands of the day but won the crowd over with ease.
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Newport Folk Festival 2016 – Day 1 Recap

By Will Oliver, August 31st 2016 — with 2 comments

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(Flight Of The Conchords)

Last year was my first time at the annual Newport Folk Festival, and what a revelation it was. I feel foolish for never venturing out to the festival, which is easily one of the best festival that you will find in America. The only thing that matters here is music, so leave your ego, flower crows and selfie sticks at the door. This year featured another great lineup, and day 1 kicked it off with a well balanced lineup featuring legends of the past and today, and some upcoming talent.
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Preview: Basilica SoundScape 2016

By Will Oliver, August 25th 2016

Basilica Soundscape

Every year in upstate New York, Basilica Soundscape reminds us that festivals don’t have to be overwhelming events that you can barely find reasons to enjoy. The festival, which is returning for it’s fifth year in Hudson New York, offers a unique festival experience in the industrial surrounding that is Basilica Hudson. The lineup is always carefully curated by Basilica Hudson Creative Directors Melissa Auf Der Maur and Tony Stone, along wwith Pitchfork Senior Editor/Director of Events Brandon Stosuy and Brian De Ran of Leg Up! Management to program a creative and exciting lineup that is unlike any other festival that you’ll find not only on the East Coast, but probably across the country.

This year’s festival takes place from September 16-18 (music takes place only 16-17) and the lineup is as interesting and eclectic as ever. Angel Olsen, Explosions in the Sky, and Wolves in the Throne Room are headlining, with Deradoorian, Cobalt, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge & Edley O’Dowd (Thee Majesty), Deantoni Parks, Bell Witch, The Utter Nots, Uniform, Youth Code, Hank Wood & The Hammerheads, Xylouris White, Saviour Self, Mary Lattimore and Amber Tamblyn rounding on the rest of the lineup.

Tickets are still available for both a weekend pass, single days, and camping. Be sure to check back during the festival, we’ll have full coverage coming here, as well as on our instagram and twitter accounts.

Preview: Full Moon Fest 2016

By Will Oliver, August 15th 2016

Full Moon Fest 2016

Returning for it’s sixth straight year, MATTE Projects Full Moon Fest is back in a big way this year. Returning to Governor’s Island, the festival has now expanded to two days, and features its most diverse lineup yet. With headlining sets from Santigold, Pusha T, SBTRKT, and Allah-Las, this is easily their most exciting and eclectic lineup to date, with the return to Governors Island an always welcome escape.

Stretch over two days this will over fans a different experience, with more spread out action throughout each day, and giving each artist more time to shine. We’ve covered the festival for the past two years (find our 2015 and 2014 coverage) and look forward to seeing what this years edition has to offer.

Tickets for the festival are still available as single day or two-day packages. In the meantime, check out Billboard’s interview with the festivals founders about this years fest, and head to the Full Moon site for more information.

Recap: SXSW 2016

By Collin Quinlivan, July 20th 2016

SXSW

South by Southwest–the crown jewel and gold standard of American arts festivals. Spanning almost two weeks, it covers music, film, interactive, and gaming. Thousands of savvy young professionals descend upon Austin, TX like a swarm of bees trying to find, or be, the next big buzz.  I was originally intending to mainly cover the film portion and do music on the side, but that didn’t go down so well. I may touch on this later, but I think that the festival has possibly become a bit too big for its britches. But through all of the pomp and circumstance, there still lies an unforgettable experience…you just need to know where to look.

After a great deal of trouble with some shoddy airplanes, I finally made it to Austin. I always expect the worst, so the extra six hours of travel time, two of which were confined to a metal tube full of gross people (I’m kidding, your B.O. masked with 80’s-porn-director-cologne smelled amazing), weren’t that big of a deal. But just from the way my extremely late-night flight was full to capacity with 20-somethings, I knew we were all headed to the same place. Read the rest of this entry »

4Knots Music Festival 2016

By Will Oliver, July 12th 2016

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Guided By Voices at 4Knots Music Festival 2016

As a avid concert goer in New York, the Village Voice’s annual 4Knots Music Festival is one of the highlights of my summer. It brings along a mix of established and new talent, as well as tons of my fellow music lovers/bloggers/photographers. This year was the 6th edition of the festival, and saw it return to its old stomping grounds at South Street Seaport, after a one-off last year at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park. The return to South Street (as well as free admission) was more than welcome, as it resulted in a packed capacity crowd who was enthusiastic from start to finish.
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Governors Ball 2016 Day 2 Recap

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016

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M83 at Governors Ball 2016

After a great day 1 of Governors Ball 2016, we arrived bright an early with a whole day ahead of us. Although we lucked out with minimal rain on day 1, our luck ran dry on day 2 with the 2nd half of the day plagued by some heavy rainfall that would go on to be a bad omen for the final day of the festival, which would eventually get cancelled altogether.

We started the day off with an early set from Holly Miranda whose band eased us into the day with a graceful set full of different stylings. Things got a little bit harder with punk rockers Nothing, who weren’t too happy with Miranda’s set time somewhat leaking into theirs. I could’ve down without the aggressive comment about her set, as there’s not much to be done with so many sets happening so close to one another. Things got back on track right after with a typically powerful performance from New York’s very own Torres, who always leaves me in awe with her raw intensity that is second to none.
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Governors Ball 2016 Day 1 Recap

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016 — with 1 comment

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The Strokes at Governors Ball

For me, summer is officially in full swing with the arrival of the Governors Ball Music Festival, a staple of our summer here for the last few summers, although it’s hard to imagine a time without the festival. This year the festival was once again plagued by the ominous threat of rain and storms (with day 3 unfortunately being cancelled altogether), but we still made the best of the two great days that the festival gave us, and saw many different bands and artists across all genres.

We kicked off Friday, Day 1, with a set from young New York rockers Public Access T.V., who are definitely ones to watch, along with hot rising pop singer Meg Mac who performed right after.
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