This week marks the inaugural New Colossus Festival on the Lower East Side in NYC. Launched by the trio of Lio Kanine (Kanine Records), Steven Matrick (Pianos, Kepler Events) and Mike Bell (Lorimer Beacon), the three-day long festival gives bands traveling to the U.S. for SXSW (see our picks for next week) a chance to showcase their talents in front of New York audiences who’ve been yearning for a large-scale music conference ever the CMJ Music Marathon departed a few years ago.
Pianos was the de facto hub of the festival, with two stages, panels, event registration and a Wednesday night pre-party. The festival’s official start was Thursday at 2 p.m. with a small but well-curated selection of panels, followed by showcases at Pianos as well as at Arlene’s Grocery, The Delancey, Berlin, Bowery Electric and Coney Island Baby.
We started out at the panels, catching The Importance of A Record Label in Today’s Marketplace, Let’s Talk About Sync, and Erasing The Stigma: Mental Health And The Musicians’ Community before hitting shows to experience bands whose music we’ve been loving but had yet to see live, like Tallies, our top artist about a month ago. We caught the first of Tallies’ two incredible performances of the night, when they played at Coney Island Baby as part of the Canadian showcase Northern Beat.
Scroll on for photos by Bryan Bruchman from Day 1 of New Colossus including panels and live shots of Ellevator, Tallies, Nicole Yun, Monograms, Living Hour, Honey Cutt, The Natvral, Avalanche Party, and Das Body, then head out to catch some more of the shows tonight and tomorrow.