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HONK NYC!'s International Street Band Explosion Celebrates 10 Years in 2016
119 backers pledged $8,016 to help bring this project to life.

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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 Bandthe 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:

Please visit our website for the complete festival schedule and additions. 

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.

 

2016 Festival Poster - Original Art by John Holmstrom
2016 Festival Poster - Original Art by John Holmstrom

Listen to some of bands attending this year's HONK NYC! Festival

Follow the HONK NYC! 2016 playlist to listen any time!

Environmental Encroachment at Staten Island Community Charter School 2015
Environmental Encroachment at Staten Island Community Charter School 2015

 

          

 

Sxip Shirey & JANK at HONK NYC! 2015
Sxip Shirey & JANK at HONK NYC! 2015

 

Sneak preview of 2016 Poster Art by John Holmstrom
Sneak preview of 2016 Poster Art by John Holmstrom

 

Hungry March Band at One Penn Plaza 2014
Hungry March Band at One Penn Plaza 2014

 

Spanglish Fly at Littlefield 2015
Spanglish Fly at Littlefield 2015

 

Kenny Wollesen & The Tigers, High Line Park 2015
Kenny Wollesen & The Tigers, High Line Park 2015

 

Paprikata in Williamsburg outside Loosie Rouge 2015
Paprikata in Williamsburg outside Loosie Rouge 2015

 

Sneak preview of 2016 Poster Art by John Holmstrom
Sneak preview of 2016 Poster Art by John Holmstrom

 

HONK NYC! Team Make Your Reward Dreams Come True
HONK NYC! Team Make Your Reward Dreams Come True

 

Dance Brigade Members Sport Our Classic T
Dance Brigade Members Sport Our Classic T

 

Air Horn Player at Staten Island Community Charter School - Photo by Adrian Buckmaster
Air Horn Player at Staten Island Community Charter School - Photo by Adrian Buckmaster

 

 

 
Children at PS 10 Await Les Vilains Chicots in 2015
Children at PS 10 Await Les Vilains Chicots in 2015

 

Les Vilains Chicots at PS 10 in 2015
Les Vilains Chicots at PS 10 in 2015

 

Kyle Davison & His Pristophonium - an instrument he built from saw blades - march down Ave. C in 2015 HONK! for More Gardens, along with Mel Mo Wish, from HONK OZ!
Kyle Davison & His Pristophonium - an instrument he built from saw blades - march down Ave. C in 2015 HONK! for More Gardens, along with Mel Mo Wish, from HONK OZ!

 

Dancing on The High Line to Kenny Wollesen & The Tigers, 2015
Dancing on The High Line to Kenny Wollesen & The Tigers, 2015

 

Party Time at The Wick at our Brass-Tastic Blowout, 2015
Party Time at The Wick at our Brass-Tastic Blowout, 2015

 

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Tip HONK NYC!'s Virtual Hat

    Every dollar counts. Your tip to our bucket is very much appreciated. Plus, we send you a big, TUBA-sized shout out on our website & social media.

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    Digital Wallpaper by John Holmstrom

    Legendary underground cartoonist John Holmstrom (Punk Magazine, Ramones' albums cover art) is the illustrator behind our 2016 festival poster. Get a piece of John's distinct fabulousness for yourself. We'll send you one John's HONK NYC! characters for your digital wallpaper.

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    10 Year Benefit Album

    A 10-track ‘splosion of brasstastic tunes from ten quintessentially class acts spanning a decade of HONK NYC!

    Choice tracks from: Chaotic Noise Marching Corps (Seattle), Hungry March Band (Brooklyn), Les Vilains Chicots (Paris), Minor Mishap Marching Band (Austin), Os Siderais (Rio de Janeiro), Pakava It’ (Moscow), Perhaps Contraption (London), Pink Puffers (Rome), Raya Brass Band (Brooklyn) & Titubanda (Rome).

    Limited to digital download, get it here first. Your funds will help fuel this year’s brass-gasm throughout the boroughs.

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    Pre-sale Ticket to Brasstastic Blowout

    One ticket to HONK NYC! & Rubulad's 3rd annual Brasstastic Blowout on Saturday, October 15, featuring sets by Hungry March Band, Maracatu NY, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, Environmental Encroachment & Le Pompier Poney Club.

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    The Nevermind Orchestra EP download

    This is The Nevermind Orchestra's debut EP, which contains 6 of your favorite Nirvana songs, done up as only a brass band can.

    The Nevermind Orchestra is a frenetic, psycho-jazz-grunge ensemble that reimagines the works of Nirvana through the lens of a modern brass band. Comprised of accomplished NYC musicians who have individually played with prestigious ensembles ranging from the Metropolitan Opera to the Commodores, the group has been leading grunge second-line marches on the stages, streets and subways of the northeast since 2012. Their debut EP contains 6 of your favorite Nirvana songs, treated with fresh but instantly recognizable overhauls ranging from funk-rock to blues to traditional second line – but each one delivered with the same raw emotion crafted by Kurt, Krist and Dave back in the day. As Time Out New York claims, 'There’s no shortage of Nirvana cover bands floating around but none are quite like the Nevermind Orchestra.'

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    Have Tuba, Will Travel Digital Download

    "Have Tuba, Will Travel - The Wonderful World of Brass Bands" is a treasure trove of screaming, squonking worldwide brass band mayhem. This DL is created by Rob Weisberg of WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise, and co-curator of HONK! NJ at WFMU's Monty Hall. Rob's the radio world's most trusted purveyor of global brass band music. We just love him, and you will love this music!

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    An Original HONK Poem Just For You

    Get a fancy postcard with a HONK! inspired poem written just for you!

    Helly O'Haint, HONK NYC! Committee Team member, drummer, comedienne, and dog walker, is a native Seattleite who moved to NYC last year to start anew! Her introduction to street band music in high school as lead snare instilled a lasting inspiration. Her first HONK! was 2009 at HONK! WEST "I'm ecstatic to facilitate HONK! in my new home of New York City!"

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    HONK NYC T

    Our classic HONK NYC! T is worn around the globe by musicians who've participated in our fest & backers like you who want to share their HONK! joy. Join their ranks! We LOVE photos of HONK Ts wearers in far-away places. Send us yours!

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    Special World Maker Faire NYC Reward

    HONK NYC! Classic T PLUS our "10 Year Benefit Album" digital DL. Available September 30 - October 2 ONLY.

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    Sxip Special: New Music, Plus More

    Get Sxip's new record, "A Bottle of Whiskey & and Handful of Bees."

    Sxip Shirey is a HONK NYC! Hero. He's been following the DIY marching band scene since his early days in NYC, when he encountered Hungry March Band. Sxip's traveled the world making music -- but always, when he returns to NY, he hangs with the brass bands, even making his own. His JANK played HNYC 2015 and was a huge hit.

    Sxip can't be with us this year because of his touring schedule, but he CAN share with us 10 downloads of his new, as-yet-to-be-released album, "A Bottle of Whiskey & A Handful of Bees."

    Your pledge gets you one digital DL of his new material, PLUS a DL of his "Sonic New York."

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    "How To Make A Marching Band" Poster

    Get your own copy of our illustrated how-to guide to make your very own band! Illustrated by Samantha Tsistinas of Hungry March Band & Le Pompier Poney Club for HONK NYC!'s 2015 presentation at the World Maker Faire.

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    Spanglish Fly "New York Boogaloo" 12"

    Spanglish Fly's masterful full-length record on beautiful 180 gram vinyl, with cover art designed by legendary Fania artist Izzy Sanabria.

    "This is a seriously wonderful record, full of spectacular, raucous musicianship – a very high quality of musicianship" – World Music Report

    "Spanglish Fly’s spot-on horns, incredibly tight percussion section and expert musicianship shine throughout." – New York City Jazz Record

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    John Holmstrom SIGNED Poster Art + DLs

    HONK NYC! 2016 festival poster SIGNED by John Holmstrom, plus digital wallpaper of one of John's HONK NYC! characters PLUS the "10 Year Benefit Album" download.

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    Two Pre-sale Tickets Plus a T-shirt

    Two pre-sale tickets to HONK NYC! & Rubulad's 3rd annual Brasstastic Blowout on Saturday, October 15, featuring sets by Hungry March Band, Maracatu NY, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, Environmental Encroachment & Le Pompier Poney Club. Get two tickets here, we'll throw in a classic HONK NYC! T!

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    Hungry March Band 7" + CD + Digital DL

    Get yourself a copy of the limited edition of Hungry March Band's 7" single "Mali Mali" on red vinyl, plus HMB's live CD from Sardinia containing unreleased material, *plus* a digital download of our 10 year benefit album!

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    HONK NYC! Classic Hoodie + Digital DL

    HONK NYC!'s hoodie is worn across the United States by many a musician. Sport one yourself this winter! We'll throw in a digital download of our 10 year benefit album!

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    "Brooklyn Spaces" Book & 10 Year CD DL

    "Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture & Creativity"

    Get your very own signed copy of Oriana Leckert's compendium of art and culture in Brooklyn. Published in 2015, "Brooklyn Spaces" profiles the community of makers, performers, and doers who have transformed the borough over the past two decades into one of the most outrageously creative cities in the world. Read about the beautiful and the bizarre, the intricate and the slapdash, the upcycled, hacked, and remade spaces where NYC's creative class lives and works.

    The book features HONK NYC! musicians Les Muses Tanguent on its cover, in performance at our 2014 Brasstastic Blowout with Rubulad. We'll throw in a digital download of our 10 year benefit album!

    More info here: http://www.monacellipress.com/book/?isbn=9781580934282

    Oriana is a writer, editor, and cultural hipstorian [sic] who is kind of obsessed with Brooklyn. She is the author of "Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture & Creativity" (Monacelli, 2015) and creatrix of the website of the same name. She is the events editor for both Brokelyn and Greenpointers, and her writing has appeared on Slate, Atlas Obscura, New York Post, Matador, Hyperallergic, Gothamist, Curbed, Brooklyn Magazine, Brooklyn Based, and more. Follow her at @orianabklyn.

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    Dance Lesson with HMB Pleasure Society

    Learn all the fancy moves the Hungry March Band dancers do at shows! You'll learn a bunch of new steps & discover how to make your very own insta-choreography. Plus we'll throw in a HONK NYC! T.

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    Big Bag o' Swag

    Receive a box of goodies from HONK NYC! - CDs, stickers, posters, beads & other swag beg, stolen, borrowed, caught & received from our global travels through the HONK! universe.

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    Trumpet-O-Gram

    Jenny Harder, Hungry March Band trumpeter & HONK NYC! committee member, is at your service! Send a "Happy Birthday" call to your mom, featuring Jenny's fine styling. Play a sweet fanfare over the phone to your beloved - as only Jenny can do!

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    Tuba Gram from Sousaphone Joe

    Give your sweetie some big boomy LOVE for the birthday; entice your date with a smooth, sultry bass line, or...send a big blast when it's time to make a statement.

    Sousaphone Joe is a HONK! original. Born and raised in Somerville, MA, birthplace of the HONK! Festival, he's traveled the world with his sousaphone, playing at HONK OZ!, all the U.S. HONK!s, and touring Europe with other ensembles. He's in New York now, working on HONK NYC! and playing with Hungry March Band. He's ready for you!

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    Custom Headpiece by Pinkitrix

    A custom headpiece by Partywear by Pinkitrix, the crafty collaboration between EditrixAbby and Pinky.

    Pick your color scheme, sparkly or goth, battery operated or low-tech, princess/fairy or space vixen. The two crown and tiara wizards will whip up a one-of-a-kind creation just for you!

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    City Winery Tour for 2

    Explore City Winery and sample the latest wine fresh from the barrel!

    Visit the winery where the grapes are brought in and processed, the barrel room where mixing and aging take place, and enjoy a taste of an unfinished wine from the barrel.

    Finish the tour with a tasting flight of 3 of the wines on tap paired with a cheese plate.

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    Tax Prep with Sara Valentine

    HONK NYC! festival steward Sara Valentine moonlights as a tax preparer in the winter months. She specializes in artists & small-business returns. Get your 2016 1040 prepped by Sara! It's always a good time at her desk - chances are she'll play brass band videos for you on the internet & discuss Game of Thrones at length. :) This is a bargain rate for folks who are self-employed.

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    Kenny Wollesen's Hand Built Ectar

    Kenny Wollesen is the Mad Genius instrument and music maker behind Wollesonic Labs & the Sonic Massage. He's generously offered a piece he created for a performance at MassMoca.

    The "Ectar" is a one-stringed instrument made from bamboo and an oatmeal can.

    Make it yours! Play the Ectar.

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    Sara Valentine Plans YOUR Event

    Sara Valentine, HONK NYC! Festival Steward, has been throwing big-ass happenings in NYC for 20+ years! Her themes are legendary - "Vulvapalooza," a women's arts festival in 1994 - "Little Miss Big Mouth" - her talk show - plus years working - and playing - various events on the streets, in the parks and at favored venues around town.

    Let her make your party! Expect mad-cap performers, brass bands, last-minute delightful additions and so much more! Client is responsible for artists payment and event expenses.

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    My Gift Is Someone Else's Song

    & It's For You!

    Gretchen Poole, drummer & HONK NYC! committee member, has a degree in music and years of musical improv and sketch comedy experience in the NYC comedy scene. Got a special occasion coming up and can't find the perfect gift? Give Gretchen details about that occasion/person and she'll re-write the lyrics to the pop song of your choice, then sing it & record it for you.

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    Send A Band to a NYC School

    Become a direct sponsor of our educational initiative. We are sending our artists to six schools this season: PS 10, MS 839 & Maple Street School in Brooklyn; Central Park East II in Harlem, PS 153 in The Bronx & to a Staten Island charter school, TBA. Your pledge covers artists fees & transportation costs. We'll honor your contribution with a mention on our website that you're one of our "HONK NYC! Champions."

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Funding period

- (21 days)