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Promoter pulls bands from SummerScreen over Vitamin Water branding

Big Beverage: Vitamin Water may take the stage at SummerScreen, but planned music acts will not.
Associated Press / Stephan Savoia

It is a soda jerk!

A music promoter is pulling all of the bands from a McCarren Park concert series, claiming the organizer made deal to plaster the logo of Coca-Cola-owned soft-drink giant Vitamin Water on the stage without consulting him first or offering the bands a share of the sponsorship money.

Local concert maven Todd Patrick said he would have yanked the acts from the annual music and movie festival SummerScreen even if the event’s organizer Northside Media Group had offered the artists a cut of Coke’s cash, but it would have been nice to be asked.

“We would turn down the branding no matter what the money, but certainly if there is money changing hands, the bands should see it,” Patrick wrote in an announcement on his Facebook page on Tuesday — a day before the first night of the festival. “We insisted the branding be removed and Northside wasn’t able to do it, so we’re canceling.”

Patrick, who has booked the bands for SummerScreen for the past several years, told The Brooklyn Paper he is not angry with Northside officials despite the drama.

“There is no ill will and no animosity,” said Patrick, who runs the Queens music venue Trans-Pecos and was also the publisher of erstwhile music newspaper Showpaper. “We just have a different philosophy.”

Northside, which also organizes the sprawling annual Northside Festival and publishes local arts journals the L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine, has run SummerScreen at the park annually since 2006. Typically, each night opens with live music followed by a film screening. This year’s festival is scheduled to take place every Wednesday night in July and August.

This season’s lineup was set to include a pairing of avant-garde band Zs with the movie “Clueless” on Wednesday night, and new wave-reggae mashup outfit Jah Division matched with “Jurassic Park” on Aug. 5. Patrick had also booked an unnamed band to play before an as-yet-unannounced audience-selected movie that was going to run on Aug. 12, but the band’s identity will now remain a mystery.

Northside Media Group declined to comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
No logo: Concert promoter Todd Patrick says he won't put bands on a stage covered in Vitamin Water ads.

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