The badgeless guide to Northside

Street artist Skewville's "Last Exit to Skewville," on display during Northside. Photo via Jaime Rojo.

It’s my favorite time of year again: Not only is summer bursting from every cracked hydrant and aromatic taco truck, but the L Magazine’s Northside Festival is here, which means I can stop hauling ass to Prospect Park and effortlessly lure all of my friends to Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick for a glorious four days of burgeoning culture. Badges for the fest would have run you $60-$200 (and are sold out anyway), and tickets to the bigger shows have their own big price tags. But there’s plenty to do that’s doesn’t involve opening your wallet. Check out Brokelyn’s guide to free Northside, plus some bonus tips to the festival’s associated deals and freebies to help you soak up loads of film, music, art and north Brooklyn pride, without breaking the bank.

Pete’s Candy Store and Spike Hill seem to monopolize the complimentary concerts this week, but Matchless, the Woods, the Gutter and Trophy Bar all get in on the action. All free shows are 21+ unless otherwise noted.

THURSDAY – June 16
Pete’s Candy Store
hosts Minerva Lions, You Won’t, Big Tree, and Noisycrane. Show starts at 8pm, Doors TBD.

Spike Hill, ReThink Pop Music presents an epic lineup:
Jack & the Jaywalkers 12:45am
The Ruby Spirit 12am
The Aviation Orange 11:15pm
The Yes Way 10:30pm
Me You Us Them 9:45pm
Appomattox 9pm
The Courtesy Tier 8:15pm
Lucius 7:30pm
The Wicked Tomorrow 6:45pm
Sweet Wood Soul 6pm
Doors are at 5:30pm.

FRIDAY – June 17
Head to the Fowler Arts Collective (67 West Street, #216, in Greenpoint) for a reception celebrating the launch of Northside Open Studios, taking place from 7-11pm. Fowler’s 18 artist studios will be open for visitors the entire weekend: On Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm.

After the reception, catch Anni Rossi’s sweet-n-melancholic viola tunes at Pete’s Candy Store at 11pm, as well as Boy Without God, Jo Schornikow (of The Shivers), and Twi the Humble Feather. Show starts at 8pm, Doors TBD.

SATURDAY – June 18 (the best day for freeness)
At Bar Matchless, gorge on delicious brunch from 12-4pm while The Battering Room presents: Diehard, Mussels, Marie Stella, Beat Radio, I’m Turning Into, with DJ sets by Jinners (Wonder Twins).

Twosyllable records and I Guess I’m Floating present another afternoon show at The Woods: Arches 7pm, Holiday Shores 6pm, Beige 5pm, Secret Mountains 4pm, Celestial Shore 3pm. Doors at 2pm.

Saturday evening at Pete’s Candy Store, see Beau Jennings, Gabriel Phillips Miller, Lacrymosa, Bel Air. Doors at 5:30pm.

Northside’s own L Magazine hosts two “Bands You Need to Hear showcases on Saturday. Catch part 1 at Spike Hill, with Mainland, Slowdance, Luke Rathborne, Grand Rapids, and Radical Dads. Doors at 1:30pm.
Part 2 starts at 8:30 in The Back Room at The Gutter: see Your Youth, Gross Relations, The Hairs (solo), and Beat Radio.

SUNDAY – June 19
For your last day of Northside (have you been drinking enough water?!), head to Spike Hill for one last Sunday funday afternoon show presented by Paper Trail & Paper Garden Records: See Emanuel & the Fear, Big Tree, Clouder, Whale Belly, Project Jenny Project Jan, Infernal Devices, Friend Factory, and with DJ sets by BRAHMS. Doors at noon.

On Sunday night you can dance it all away with a DJ set by Slashedo from 5-10pm at Trophy Bar; or scoop up one last free show at Pete’s Candy Store: Bridges and Powerlines go on at 10:30, with openers Onward Chariots and Joe Fox & the Fourth Floor Band. Show starts at 8:30, doors TBD.

Badge pickup began in Williamsburg at noon today, but did you know your badge is also a discount card? Our personal favorite badge-holder benefits:

Sip on a complimentary iced coffee from Urban Rustic (with any purchase over $5) or down a half-gallon (?!) of free beer at Goodbye Blue Monday.

The festival has partnered with Brooklyn Flea, meaning that all badge holders will receive an “Eat Free at the Flea” voucher. Tickets can be redeemed at Smorgasburg, the new-and-awesome artisanal foodie greenmarket taking place on Saturday at the Williamsburg BK Flea. For the full list of sweet Northside deals, click here.

Find out more about the etiquette of swiping free swag, networking at a music festival and how to scavenge the internet for deals at the bottom of this guide, and scan for more free events in our summer calendar. Use Brokelyn’s own outdoor concert cheat sheet to find out how to still hear Beruit’s sold-out Friday show and Guided by Voices (Saturday, pricey but arguably worth it) from the outskirts of McCarren Park.

To purchase last-minute tickets to any films ($10), panels ($10-12), or shows ($5-35), click here.

5 Comment

  • Pingback: Our new list of everything free this summer! | Brokelyn

  • as for my preference… I recommend checking out Anni Rossi (Fri night at Pete’s Candy Store), Holiday Shores (Sat afternoon at the Woods), and the Hairs (Sat night at the Gutter).

    yeah! free + ultra legit!

  • Hey – there’s a great app that has all kinds of things about the festival – it’s at I think you can see all of the schedules, and even get rewards for going to shows (very brokelyn :).

  • I’m such a sell out, and signed up for the free Steve Madden Open Bar Lounge text notifications. Yes, I exchanged my soul for free liquor, but this will give me the chance to get drunk and complain about how much my Maddens hurt and are all around failing apart. Prepare yourself, Madden. You’ve won this one… For now.

    I might get a Toyota airbrush tattoo while I’m at it.

  • Steve Madden is the guy who makes the football video games, right?