About this project
Polish Your Dancing Shoes. Dust Off Your Party Hat. Join Our Creative Community.
NYC's 9th Annual Convergence of Street Bands & Spectacle Makers kicks off October 12-18, just three weeks away!
HONK NYC! is an independent arts festival celebrating contemporary street band spectacle & culture. The multi-day event presents free and affordably priced performances in clubs, schools, parks, gardens, galleries & other public spaces across the New York City region for one fantastic week each October.
HONK NYC! is a spin-off the decade strong, Boston-area HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands, the founding fest of a now multi-city network of HONKs in the U.S., Brazil & Australia. Fun, revelry, audience participation & inclusivity are the hallmarks of the street band movement - the HONK! movement. Onlookers are implored to become directly engaged. Rusty musicians are encouraged to play music. “Closeted” performers are empowered to reveal themselves. All beginners are welcome. The d.i.y. credo that revolutionized music, fashion & the arts in the late 1970s has a new look: marching band.
Street bands are the PUNK OF NOW!
HONK NYC! grew from a dinner party 8 years ago for Brooklyn's Hungry March Band & Rome's Pink Puffers Brass Band. HONK NYC! is now a week-long celebration with the participation of nearly 25 performance groups. From school visits to outdoor concerts & late-night parades, HONK NYC! presents two shows daily (sometimes more!) throughout the week.
7 Days + 300 Artists + 20 Concerts + School Programs = HONK NYC!
This year we are thrilled to be adding a handful of bands to the roster who've never played HONK NYC! before, including beloved local heroes, Brooklyn United Marching Band, subway superstars Drumadics, and the newest "alt" marching band in town, Funkrust Brass Band.
From Paris, for their premiere in NYC, we've got funky French fanfare, Les Vilains Chicot.
And...we're bringing two acts from New Orleans up to the fest for their NYC debuts!!! Straight from Treme, we’re pleased to bring all ten members of the fantastic younger group New Creations Brass Band from the Big Easy to the Big Apple. In addition, we are super-excited that living legend Big Chief Alfred Doucette will be coming with several of his exquisite hand-stitched Mardi Gras Indian costumes, which we will exhibit in a roaming gallery.
How do your contributions to our campaign help HONK NYC!?
HONK NYC! began as an artists-run endeavor & remains as such, even as the number of festival coordinators has swelled from just a handful to fifteen people in the past eight years. We started raising money via crowdfunding in 2013. That year, we had one Excel spreadsheet at the end of the four-day fest with two simple columns: “Band Name,” & “Amount Paid.” Thanks to donors like you, HONK NYC! has grown exponentially into a one-week festival with two or more events each day. Each year, we present more bands at more free & affordable events across the city. We are now serving a greater number of audience members, partnering with new organizations & attracting the attention of media from around the globe.
In 2015, Kickstarter funds are earmarked to underwrite:
- Travel fees including airfare for far-out-of-town bands, bus rental for bands coming from Providence, and ground transportation to get those tubas and bass drums from one event to another.
- Venue fees for the brasstastic blowouts at Littlefield and two other locations TBA, featuring six or seven sensational sonic ensembles.
- Publicity including a press agent and postcard printing so everyone knows the where, when, and who of HONK! NYC
- Permit fees for pageants in public spaces and late-night parades.
An average of 52% of the festival’s costs was covered by Kickstarter donations in 2013 and 2014. The more we raise, the more we will be able to do: the more musicians we can serve & support, the greater numbers of audiences we can reach & recruit, the bigger & better we can be while minimizing the risk, loss and cost of the festival itself.
Support and Become Involved with our Most Ambitious project yet!
Street band members love to play music for the people. They transform spaces into lively, active zones of pleasure & enjoyment. Our goal is to provide our artists with as many opportunities as possible to encounter the best audiences in the world & make magic together. HONK NYC! wants to facilitate the connection between these artists & you.
Join our Creative Community. Meet us on the streets of New York City October 12 - 18, 2015 for HONK NYC!
Risks and challenges
Our festival's growth happened by accident: folks from out-of-town bands informed us they were coming to NYC after Boston HONK! "Please get us gigs," they implored, which we did. As a result, the next year, our visitors stayed a bit longer. We added more gigs to meet their desire & from this, a festival emerged.
This is a happy accident, to be sure! And herein lies the risks and challenges we face each year.
We've encountered a ton of logistical problems in recent years: snafus with transportation, hidden venue fees, & hospitality being the most formidable. We've also dealt with inclement weather, promised donations that never arrived, housing situations that turned out to be more stormy than sunny, & misunderstandings around gigs and scheduling.
How have we handled all this? We've pulled together. We've worked on our communication. We've borrowed money. We've bartered for services. We've talked with our artists, co-presenters, fellow Honk producers, & benefactors about how to navigate these inevitable problems. We've reached out to seasoned production experts who've offered guidance & brought them onto our team. We've even become friends with the local NYPD precinct's head of Community Affairs, who endorses us 100%.
And through it all, our supporters, backers, volunteers, audience members & presenting partners have helped us to make this accidental festival flourish. The tremendous response we've received in the past has enabled us to provide a great foundation upon which we continue to build our organization.
Please support HONK NYC. Check out our great rewards: from tickets to shows to our classic Tees to march band memorabilia and *deals* on performances, we have something for everyone! Your contributions help us to create an arts organization that is truly “by the people, for the people,” in the greatest city in the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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