Barbes 20th Anniversary Party
at (le) Poisson Rouge
A Message from Barbès Owner Olivier Conan:
We never thought we would, but here you go: our little Brooklyn club is turning twenty – possibly the equivalent of 100 years in NYC club years. We are shocked to have survived despite a two-year pandemic, a Park Slope location where prohibitive rents are keeping artists and musicians away, a business model based on unpopular taste, and myriad associated dangers that should have killed us long ago.
The conjunction of our 20th anniversary and what would we are hoping will mark the end of the pandemic couldn’t be a happier one. We will be celebrating hope and renewal at (le) Poisson Rouge – one of our favorite Manhattan venues, with a crowd that wouldn’t fit in our backroom, and the friendly ghosts of the Village Gate (LPR’s historical predecessor) smiling upon us.
Started in 2002 by two French expats at a time when Brooklyn had not yet fully experienced the cultural explosion it is now known for, Barbès’ original goal was to provide a space and a community for artists and musicians – many of whom were based in Brooklyn and needed an alternative to Manhattan clubs, which didn’t always foster original or non-commercial projects.
Times have changed. The epicenter of New York’s creative energy has long since shifted to Brooklyn, and Barbès is proud to have been one of the participants in this transformation. A pride mitigated by the bit part it might have played in the over-gentrification of the borough…
Barbès never focused on any particular type of music and throughout its two decades has tended to the eclectic and the esoteric – be it Peruvian cumbia, New York bhangra, Ligeti string quartets, Korean shamanic music, Arabic maqam, experimental jazz, Balkan brass bands, Venezuelan joropos, opera, son jarocho, French musette, surf, and all manners of totally unclassifiable music created by musicians with a taste for idiosyncratic hybrids.
See you at LPR on May 15th, and we also hope to see you throughout the month of May at Barbès, where every day should turn into a special celebration.