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Crash landing! Hipsters stay away from Floyd Bennett Field concert series • Brooklyn Paper

Crash landing! Hipsters stay away from Floyd Bennett Field concert series

Very few people showed up at the second “Rock Beach” concert at Aviator in Floyd Bennett Field on July 24. Hipsters seem to be avoiding the concerts like the plague.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It’s the beach-blanket bomb.

A promoter’s plan to bus hipsters from Williamsburg to concerts in far-off Mill Basin has failed miserably because the notoriously laid back brethren couldn’t handle the cost of — or the time consumed by — the commute.

The promoters of the Rock Beach Concert Series told us they are considering moving “closer to home” after concerts on July 9 and July 24 at Floyd Bennett Field — more than nine miles away from Brooklyn’s biggest hipster enclave in Williamsburg — had an incredibly low turnout.

A little more than 150 people showed up to enjoy the six-hour music festival on July 24, barely making in a dent in a space next to the Aviator Sports and Recreation that can hold thousands. Even fewer people were found playing volleyball and splashing around on the concert’s signature water slides and wading pools.

The concerts are free, but attendees are charged $20 to be bussed from Williamsburg to the 83-year-old former air strip on the other side of the borough — just paces from the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge on Flatbush Avenue. Attendees sign up for the concert by RSVPing to www.rockbeach.us.

But the commute’s apparently too difficult for Brooklyn’s hipster community — especially since previous concerts promoted by the same group — JellyNYC — were held at city parks within walking distance from their homes.

“Commuting is a pain in the [rear end],” said Tom McDonough, who runs Rock Beach’s dodgeball station. “It used to be that you would roll out of bed and the concert would be right there, down the block — now you have to commute. Turnout is less than what it would be since it’s not in our backyard.”

Other attendees said they also missed the accessibility of other venues like hipster haven McCarren Park in Williamsburg.

“I think the commute to Rock Beach is a big issue,” Chris D’Angelo said, using the fabricated name for the venue. “It’s a train to a bus if you’re not within walking or biking distance. That was one of the great things about [McCarren Park], it was so easy to get to. Also, there was a neighborhood surrounding the park with lots to do before and after the show.”

But D’Angelo said he actually enjoyed the concerts — and its water-logged amenities — once he got there.

“The venue is pretty awesome,” he said. “You got dodgeball, slip ‘n’ slide, beer, food and when I started to feel the effects of the sun, I found out there was a sweet pool I could cool off in. I had a blast, but I felt like a kid being pulled out of a candy store when they came over the P.A. and said the party buses were leaving.”

E-mails to JellyNYC for comment were not returned. Nor were calls to Aviator, which is getting paid to host the shows on a concert-by-concert basis.

According to its advertisements, the Rock Beach concert series will last until Sept. 10. The last three weekends of the concert series will include sleep overs under the stars now that Floyd Bennett Field has expanded its campgrounds.

But JellyNYC has been known to switch up venues — or simply abandon its scheduled events: last year, it cancelled a concert when it couldn’t pay venue operators.

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