For the second year in a row, the L-Magazine staged a massive music takeover of Greenpoint/Williamsburg, filling the streets and avenues, bars and concert venues, theatres and parks with film screenings, art exhibitions, late-night parties and performances from more than 300 of the hottest musical acts from around the borough, the city and the country.
The Northside Festival, which based its headquarters fittingly on Bedford Avenue and N. 10th Street, hit North Brooklyn like a creative hurricane, offering festival badge holders an all-access pass to spend the weekend watching the most buzzed about bands, from those who record in their basements to the big-time likes of Les Savy Fav, Wavves and Liars. Sponsored by the L Magazine, a free weekly publication that has gained traction in the neighborhood from its hotly anticipated outdoor summer film screenings in McCarren Park, the Northside Festival celebrates all that is, in L Magazine Publisher Scott Stedman’s opinion, quintessentially North Brooklyn.
“We felt that in North Brooklyn there has been an incredible artistic spirit, and we wanted to create a festival that celebrates all the different people who have created that,” Stedman said. “We wanted to put together a festival celebrating the spirit of art and music that’s been emerging over the last decade.”
In addition to including local bands and artists, Stedman explained that part of the goal of the Northside Festival is to engage artists and musicians with music blogs, magazines and local tastemakers who cultivate and foster the North Brooklyn zeitgeist, to which the other boroughs—and the rest of the country—will catch on, eventually.
“The idea is that we’re not just celebrating the people creating the art, but those who are arbiters of taste and generating discussion about music and film as well,” Stedman said. “A huge challenge for Northside is curating our partners who will create their own showcases. A lot of our planning revolves around marrying these great people, the right kind of venue, and the talent they want to present.”
For example, each film screening was presented with a partner, including Film Comment Magazine, IFC, the Berlin Film Festival, IndieWire and Rooftop Films. Similarly, the musical showcases were presented through partnerships with publications and blogs like Brooklyn Vegan, Consequence of Sound, Panache and FreeWilliamsburg, among many others.
“The L Magazine is the voice of Brooklyn: the 4th largest population center in the country, and the epicenter of emerging music and arts,” Stedman continued. “Over the last 7 years The L Magazine has covered the space in New York City where art is created, drinks are spilled, and music is made. Northside is a perfect compliment to that.”