The badgeless guide to the 2012 Northside Festival

Dave's reaction last year when someone said "Do you know Northside has a ton of free shows too?"

So all your friends went to Bonnaroo or  South by Southwest or Coachella or are going to Pitchfork. Screw them, they aren’t better than you. You’re smart and you know that the Northside Festival plants its flag right in your backyard starting Thursday. I mean, look at how much fun I had last year when I may or may not have been on bath salts (pictured above). If you want to enjoy the throngs and the music but don’t have $80 for a badge, there’s no need to cry. Seriously, stop crying. We’ve compiled all the free shows you can cram in your ears. And if you do have a badge, take a gander at our favorite deals you get at bars and with vendors around north Brooklyn.

Thursday, June 14

The aptly named MyFreeConcert sets up shop for a festival-long run at  Pete’s Candy Store, starting with Birdwire, Friend Roulette and ARMS (who once played Tim’s apartment). It all goes down at 9pm.

Friday, June 15

If you want to see Beach Fossils, The Thermals, Jens Lenkman and of Montreal and if you want to couch your cheapness in a scientific sheen (and don’t we all?), check out my “scientific” guide to staking out the best spots to listen to shows at McCarren Park (regular tickets $34). That show starts at 5pm.

MyFreeConcert returns to Pete’s with Eric Gundel, Zachary Cale and Stone Cold Fox, with an 11pm act TBA. Show starts at 8pm.

Saturday, June 16 [UPDATED]

The Battering Room batters your hangover at Matchless, with sets from That Fleeting World, Passenger Peru, Magnetic Island and Gold Street. Jams will be provided between sets by DJ Jazzy Emma and Fresh Ryan. Doors are 1:30pm, first set at 2.

Spike Hill hosts a showcase of four of the L Magazine’s “8 Bands You Need to Hear,” featuring sets from Starlight Girls, Field Mouse, Ravens and Chimes and Ski Lodge. Doors at 1:30pm.

McCarren Park gets some free show love courtesy of uh, record label, RCRD LBL, who present Hume, Mas Ysa, Dean & Britta and Red Baraat. To sweeten the deal, the folks at Parked! are holding a concurrent food truck festival featuring among others, Urban Lobster, Kimchi Taco and Frites and Meats. It all goes down at 3pm.

If you’re a bit too tired to make it out to that one, Spike Hill also has a late free show presented by StereoactiveNYC, featuring Pow Wow!, Ball of Flames Shoot Fire, Miniboone, Dinosaur Feathers and Quiet Loudly at 7:30pm.

MyFreeConcert continues their run at Pete’s with Baby Gramps, Craig Judelman, a stage production of Beverly Hills 90210‘s season 3 episode “Rebel With a Cause,” Carl Banks, Chantilly and TBA act at 10:30. Show starts at 5pm.

Sunday, June 17

Spike Hill hosts a showcase from Paper Garden Records, featuring Whale Belly, Il Abanico, Starlight Girls, Team Genius and North Highlands. Show starts at 8pm.

MyFreeConcert lowers the curtain on their run at Pete’s with sets by Goh Nakamura, Glass Anchors and The Momos. Show starts at 8:30pm.


Well la-di-da Mrs. Rockefeller. Kidding! I have one too, see you there. Maybe we’ll even run into each other checking out the same deals from local businesses that your badge entitles you to. I recommend the free half gallon of beer at Goodbye Blue Monday, $1 Heineken drafts and $5 whiskey by the inch at Teddy’s and of course, using your “Eat Free at the Flea” voucher (free food item of the vendor’s choice at Smorgasburg or the Williamsburg Flea) on something salty and fattening, to keep you thirsty for more drinking.

You can also stop in to Muchmore’s grand opening, Thursday at 8pm, which will have a free Heineken keg until 9pm, and, as always, take advantage of the Trash Bar‘s PBR and well drink open bar from 8pm to 9pm each night.

Follow Dave and ask to have some of his half-gallon of beer: @HerbertHarper.

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