Bring HONK NYC!’s 10th Festival to Life!
Celebrate 10 Brasstastic Years of Parades, Pageantry & Performances in New York City - October 11 to 15, 2016.
In October 2007, Brooklyn’s Hungry March Band and Rome’s Pink Puffers Brass Band returned to New York after performing at Boston’s HONK! Festival. A dinner party they co-hosted one night in Williamsburg transformed into a spontaneous concert that was too fun to end. HONK NYC! came wailing and whooping into the world at that wild event, a renegade gathering of street bands and revelers parading across Gotham, bringing music and magic to the people of New York.
Who would have expected that HONK NYC! would grow from those humble beginnings into the big brassy festival it is today? Or that the HONK! movement of street band extravaganzas would spread across the world? We’re thrilled to be part of a growing family of HONK festivals in the U.S., Brazil and Australia. Our network weaves together artists who share a passion for playing & preserving the grassroots traditions of street music & spectacle.
10 Years of Activity, with artists from Rome, London, Rio, Paris, Moscow, Lyon, Sydney, New Orleans, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, Boston and beyond.
HONK NYC! unleashes up to 300 madcap musicians and smashing spectacle-makers across New York City each October. Our goal: to persuade people of all walks of life to stop, listen, engage, dance. Standing at the intersection of activism, DIY culture and ethnomusicology, HONK NYC! provides New Yorkers with a glimpse of the burgeoning movement of acoustic & mobile musical ensembles popping up around the globe.
Our 10th Birthday Bash, October 11 to 15, is our most expansive festival yet:
- 4 free outdoor performances in Manhattan and Staten Island
- 6 visits to schools in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island
- 5 concerts in Brooklyn, Harlem, Jersey City and the East Village
- 2 Processionals in Manhattan and Staten Island
- 300 total musicians in 21 ensembles
Our visiting artists come from the United States, France and India this landmark 10th year.
- Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band, the phenomenal foot-stomping founders of the original HONK! Fest from Boston, are coming to HONK NYC! for the very first time!
- La Fanfare Invisible plays audacious interpretations of traditional music and protest songs in joyful solidarity with social movements on the streets of Paris.
- Like its home city of Marseille, Le Pompier Poney Club is a hybrid of internationals, with members hailing from Belgium, Rome and New York, combining a bouillabaisse of musical influences that include rap, ska, pop and French hip-hop.
- Environmental Encroachment, Chicago’s beloved bunny-eared brass band, will join us for another year of raucous revelry.
- Also coming from Boston: Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, bringing their funky fusion of avant-garde jazz and music from the vagabond people of Europe.
- From India: Thanks to our presenting partner Rob Weisberg, host of Transpacific Sound Paradise at WFMU Radio, HONK NYC! is proud to host a very rare appearance of MERASI: Master Musicians of Rajasthan at our show at WFMU's Monty Hall on October 13. From India, this ensemble will bring their ecstatic Sufi and sacred folk music straight from the Thar Desert.
Fifteen local bands will grace the fest this year, including a number of acts who are making their HONK NYC! debut:
- Slavic Soul Party - Balkan soul Gypsy funk maestros
- The Nevermind Orchestra - All brass Nirvana cover band
- The Marching Cobras - Harlem dance and drumline sensation
- Maracatu NY - Playing the percussion music of northeastern Brazil
What Your Contribution Provides
HONK NYC! has evolved from an accidental festival produced by four people to an eagerly anticipated, five day event stewarded by a production team of 15. As our festival has grown in size, our crew has increased in number, with our budget following suit.
We are thrilled to announce we received 2 grants to produce our 2016 festival: from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Staten Island Arts, respectively. Their generous awards represent only 14% of overall costs. Funds raised via Kickstarter -- more than 50% of festival costs are covered by the KS -- enable us to pay for a major portion of what it takes to present a big, brassy, multi-day fest across New York.
Your contributions will be put toward the following:
- Travel Stipends for touring bands
- Regional Transportation Fees, including coach bus rental and ground transportation
- Honorariums for performances by local and touring acts
- Food expenses to feed 60 starving touring mouths
- Publicity Costs
- Venue & Permitting Fees
The more we raise, the more we will be able to do:
- We can serve and support our artists -- treat them as they should be treated.
- We can reach greater numbers of audiences across the region more effectively -- encourage more people to participate in our global network as grass roots culture builders and preservers.
- We can visit more students in schools where no music programs exist -- inspire them to express their creativity in positive ways.
More Bands. More School Visits. More Neighborhoods.
Join our Creative Community for our Landmark 10th Anniversary!
We can’t wait to dance with you on the street.
Listen to some of bands attending this year's HONK NYC! Festival
Follow the HONK NYC! 2016 playlist to listen any time!
Risks and challenges
HONK NYC! is a big festival with a lot of people coming from all over the world. It’s not easy working out the logistics of housing nearly 50 out-of-town musicians and transporting over 100 musicians to gigs all over the city with their tubas and sousaphones and bass drums. We’ve dealt with snafus in transportation, inclement weather and misunderstandings around scheduling. And sometimes there are surprises in our budgeting: hidden venue fees, promised donations that never materialize and hospitality costs that are much higher than anticipated.
But we’re on our 10th year, and the show goes on. The whole shebang is run by a tight-knit collective of 15 artists — we discuss problems and brainstorm solutions, we borrow money if necessary, we do whatever we have to. And we have amazing social capital: our resources include seasoned producers, lawyers, accountants, designers, and other heroes for the arts who are there to offer us guidance and advice on how to navigate the inevitable problems that occur while producing such a large-scale event.
We continue to build on our foundation, and we hope you’ll support us in the 10th anniversary of a festival 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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