Let the music industry have South By Southwest and the CMJ festival. Brooklyn has its own DIY Music Festival for Brooklynites by Brooklynites.
Sponsored by the Bushwick Music Studios, a venue only nine months old, the inaugural four-day festival on March 24 to 27 features wall-to-wall programming from Brooklyn-based bands, DJs and performers in ten venues throughout Williamsburg and Bushwick.
It all started with an idea that began percolating among Tito Fleetwood Ladd and the rest of the Bushwick Music Studios (55 Waterbury Street) crew to unify all the great loft and warehouse spaces in their neighborhood to showcase some of their favorite bands.
“This is a DIY festival. We’re trying to do it ourselves, the venues, the band, guys like Paolo (De Gregorio) from The Deli Magazine, we’re in it to see it for ourselves,” said Ladd. “It’s not about big corporate sponsors, not a huge PR stunt, this is what we do. It’s not about South by South West or CMJ, it’s about, hey everybody look at us. This is how we do things.”
According to Ladd, the goal of the festival is to put a spotlight on the communal spirit and work ethic of Bushwick’s musicians while providing a platform that brings together the different bars, businesses, residents and artists in support of music events that have been happening in warehouse lofts and other alternative spaces over the past few years.
Ladd has already booked several neighborhood bands including Not Blood, Paint, whose intricate guitar playing and four-part vocal harmonies are matched by theatrics that include multiple costume changes and choreographed dance routines. They will be performing more than once.
“Every time I’ve seen them they’ve done something crazy and different the music is mind-blowing but they have great theatrics,” said Ladd.
The Boston-based group Otis Grove, which mixes jazz, funk and hip hop rhythms, will fill a couple of slots, as will Lowry, fresh off a two-month residency at Spike Hill. Ladd confirmed there will also be appearances from Appomattox, a high-energy rock band, Gunfight!, Pearl and the Beard’s acoustic folk stylings, and The Radical Outing Crew DJ, which will throw a hip hop party at BMS.
In addition to Bushwick Music Studios, Brooklyn venues Fireproof, Castle Braid, Eastern District, Glassdoor, Goodbye Blue Monday, House of Yes, Northeast Kingdom, and The Opera House Lofts will host shows, as well as several other venues, bringing concerts to restaurants, apartment complexes, storefronts, galleries and converted factories.
“There’s this incredible energy and all these cool spaces with amazing talent in Bushwick,” said Ladd. “This is our way of showing that to anyone who wants to pay attention to us. We’re all doing it together.”
D.I.Y. Bushwick: A Music Festival will occur on March 24 to March 27. For more information about tickets, venues and the full schedule of events, visit www.diybushwick.com and www.thedelimagazine.com.