Its summer festival season, and as we’ve gone over before, that isn’t really that exciting because summer festivals are often expensive, far away and ultimately involve disappointingly watching ants play your favorite songs on a stage one mile away from where you are. However, people seem to be figuring out you can do this in Brooklyn and have it not be bad. Joining Northside and Out in the Streets, The Way Station is leading the, uh, way, in their neighborhood with a multi-venue, 75 band extravaganza this month called the Prospect Heights Music and Arts Festival. Finally, a music festival where you can cap off the night by visiting Neptune Diner at 3am.
Here you were, thinking Brooklyn’s music scene was focused entirely on Bushwick and Ridgewood (which isn’t Brooklyn). WRONG. Prospect Heights is thriving too, with performers showing up every damn day at The Way Station and showing up a lot at Branded Saloon. So, rather than have a disparate scene all the damn time, those two bars invited Soda Bar, the Saint Catherine and Tooker Alley to join up with them for the Prospect Heights Music and Arts Festival, which will have shows from July 15 to July 19. And unlike other music festivals you have to shell out big bucks for, this collection of shows will run you much less, with the venues just asking you put money in the jar passed along by the musicians. Which you should do, come on, don’t be selfish. You can even get a preview of what’s coming, because they were nice enough to put together a mixtape for you of all the bands:
Oh and of course there’s that “and Arts” part of the festival name. The festival will also have art, like a mural tour through the neighborhood by art activists Groundswell and an exhibit from Free Arts Brooklyn on the Eastern Parkway Promenade, running from the Brooklyn Museum to Utica Avenue, in which the stones are covered with yarn in order to “knit together” the communities of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.
There’ll also be a discussion on July 18 in which Borough President Eric Adams, Erin S. Daily and Brian Weissman of Brooklyn Metal Works; Andy Heidel, owner of The Way Station and others try to figure out a way to have an art scene that co-exists with its community and businesses instead of the same vicious cycle of “discovering” a neighborhood and then seeing everyone priced out and replaced by boxy condos. Of course, you could also just do the music and art parts all weekend if you don’t want to get all depressed about everything.
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