Given that we're employed by the very same company that brings you the annual Northside Festival, wherein hundreds of bands take over dozens of venues across Williamsburg and Greenpoint for four days, along with increasingly substantial art, film and entrepreneurship components, it is perhaps not terribly surprising that our eye-rolling instincts kick in something awful when we get word of an even remotely similar festival popping up here in the city. And yes, it is probably true that we roll our eyes just a little harder than usual when said festival has the CBGB's name attached to it. You know, because CBGB's doesn't really exist anymore, other than as a brand or a logo on douchebags' t-shirts or whatever?
But you know… fuck it. Even without the weighty baggage attached to the CB's name, anyone who's willing to attempt something like this in New York City is inevitably going to face all sorts of nay-saying: "It's an overly corporate cash grab!" "It's too expensive!" And our personal favorite, "It's just like any other night in the city!"
So let's give them the benefit of the doubt, a fair shake from the place they'd least expect it: Starting on Thursday, July 5th, and running through Sunday the 8th, the CBGB Festival (no OMFUG here, thank you very much) will feature 300 artists across 40 venues, most of them in Manhattan. Among the highlights are Richard Hell at Bowery Electric, NYC hardcore legends Agnostic Front, Madball and Murphy's Law at Webster Hall, Craig Finn and The Baseball Project at City Winery, JD Samson & MEN at Gramercy Theatre, and a newly reunited Radio 4 at The Bell House. They've managed a nice lineup of New York-associated acts, while supplementing most notably with Fishbone at Brooklyn Bowl and a big, free show at Central Park featuring Guided By Voices, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The War on Drugs and Cloud Nothings.
Four-day passes to the music portion (there's also panel discussions and some film screenings) will set you back $89, not including the various CBGB's t-shirts you may feel inclined to purchase. For more info go to cbgb.com/festival