Love NJ, But Celebrate Brooklyn
Summer-long festival combines music and activities.
Brooklyn's known for being hip. Artists and performers are drawn to it. And fans are drawn to them.
This summer, as in years past, it happens again with the Celebrate Brooklyn summer-long festival, now in its 34 year. Located in the Prospect Park bandshell, the events, opportunities and shows offer a diverse slate of entertinament.
Among the attractions: The "Music and "Movies" series, which pairs iconic films (projected onto the festivals huge outdoor screen) with live music performances.
A 35th anniversary screening of "Saturday Night Fever" (Tony Manero costumes welcome!) will get an opening from Bee Gees tribute band Tragedy on (July 14). And The Muppet Movie (1979) will by paired with Muppet music by the Losers Lounge on July 28.
“The movie will be projected on a screen that is onstage in the nandshell. The band Losers Lounge will be set up onstage as well to play the music from the movie live so audience can sing along,” said Yuri Kwon, who is handling promotional activities for the event said.
This year’s lineup begins June 5 with reggae icon Jimmy Cliff taking the stage at 8 p.m. This free concert will celebrate many important moments in music and in the life of Cliff himself: The 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence, the 40th anniversary of the iconic film "The Harder They Come," and 34 years of free shows at Celebrate Brooklyn itself.
That’s but one event in a jam-packed Celebrate Brooklyn slate that includes both established and well-loved acts alongside some of the newest on the scene, which is why we’re highlighting it for of this installment of Day Tripper, a weekly look at destinations that are out of town, but in reach, and worth the trip.
DAY TRIPPER DIGEST
Why it’s Worth the Trip: There’s much more happening than just the music, but that alone should interest travelers, music fans, and those who simply love being outside enjoying the company of many likeminded people. Brooklyn’s throwing a party and you’re invited.
How to Get There From Here: See the directions on Prospect Park's homepage.
You’ll Probably Get Hungry: There will be plenty of food options available at Celebrate Brooklyn events, but if you require a change of pace before or after a show, consider taking a walk to Tom’s Restaurant, getting spicy Cajun from Two Boots of Brooklyn, or sending that summertime diet up in smoke at Junior’s Cheesecakes. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. Fancy a meat pie? Hit Dub Pies in Prospect Park West. Finally, if your beer palate is more refined than most, try Bierkraft for craft-brew satisfaction.
While You’re in the Area: If you're looking for things to do before the show(s), take a walk to Prospect Park’s tribute to those who made the region their home before the park existed, Lefferts Historic House and Litchfield Villa. You can also explore the park’s many nature trails or get a bit closer at the Prospect Park Zoo. Maybe you would just prefer to chill out and read a book in the sunshine, but first you need a book. The Community Bookstore can help with that. And if your arch-enemy Braggoota the Ego-Maniac From Venus (because Venus is the new Mars) attacks Brooklyn and you left your tights at home, never fear. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. can help you with that (they really did think of everything, didn’t they)!
This year, Brooklyn Independent Television will launch a new series of Celebrate Brooklyn broadcasts featuring past memorable moments from the festival’s nearly 35-year history. These episodes began May 7. The season features 32 performances at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Scheduled concerts for broadcast include Cliff, UK synthpop group Hot Chip, the complicated pop-rock amalgam of Dirty Projectors, Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros and Latin alt-rappers Calle 13.
Other bands to look out for are Monsters of Folk and She and Him member M. Ward, performing music from his new album A Wasteland Companion, and sharing the evening with Hoboken, NJ’s own Yo La Tengo. Lyle Lovett will bring his unique folk/country/classic pop sound to Brooklyn, and in support of their recent release The Whole Love, Wilco offer a two-night stand toward the end of July.
For complete information, visit the festival’s website.