Northside Festival is Brooklyn’s Williamsburg-Greenpoint based love-in for independent musicians, filmmakers and artists celebrating the best of our city. This year the festival runs from June 13 to 20 and is expected to attract more than 80,000 people
The New York Times announced yesterday that The Walkmen, Black Flag and Merchandise will be among about 350 bands that will play at this year’s festival, as organizers have added two free outdoor concerts and an expo to the weeklong schedule.
Now in its fifth year, Northside has become Brooklyn’s answer to the better-known South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Tex., a three-pronged event featuring an indie film festival and a music festival. “South by Southwest should be shaking in its boots, because the Northside Festival is the new sheriff in town,” the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, said.
The organizers, Daniel and Scott Stedman, founders of the Northside Media Group, said they would produce two free public concerts on June 15 and 16 in McCarren Park as part of this year’s event. The Walkmen will anchor the first show; a headliner for the second has yet to be announced.
“We are now at a scale where we can make it a massive event and have a lot of the programming be free to the public,” Scott Stedman said.
The list is also heavy with young rock bands that generated buzz at the CMJ Music Marathon last fall and at South by Southwest in March, among them Merchandise, Milk Music and Mac DeMarco. Others scheduled to perform include Swans, Lambchop, Torche, the Men, White Fence and Iceage.
The film festival will feature several New York premieres, including “All the Light in the Sky,” a 2012 film about about an aging actress directed by Joe Swanberg, and “A Teacher,” about a teacher who has an affair with a student, directed by Hannah Fidell.
Watch The Walkmen Do “Heartbreaker” On David Letterman Show
The Brooklym-based The Walkmen continue their tour of the world and beyond, and they brought the Heaven cut “Heartbreaker” to The Late Show With David Letterman. Letterman had a skateboarding goat on the show earlier, so the group had a tough act to follow (“Let’s see if these guys can skateboard” is how Letterman introduced the band). Still, “Heartbreaker” remains heartbreakingly beautiful, especially in the live setting, and this night’s renditions sounded a bit more rock-and-roll than the past. Also, lead singer Hamilton Leithauser is taller than the notoriously tall Letterman, so there’s that. Watch the fun below.