Guided by Voices to Headline Free Show as Part of Inaugural CBGB Festival
While the legendary rock club CBGB is no more, the CBGB Festival has been born. Set to kick off on July 5-8, the city-wide festival will take place across 30 different locations in New York City, from clubs like the Highline Ballroom and Webster Hall to the outside setting of Central Park’s Summerstage.
The inaugural event will feature 300 different bands over the course of the three days, with the highlight being a free performance by Guided by Voices on July 7 at Summerstage. Joining Guided by Voices for the free gig will be the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Cloud Nothings.
While the festival will focus on music, it’s not shutting the door on other creative avenues; it will also include films and special screenings of both classic and new rock films in addition to several documentaries.
There will also be industry led panels featuring songwriters, promoters, journalists, and other music biz folk.
Other bands joining the cause are Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, Baseball Project (a supergroup started by Dream Syndicate member Steven Wynn and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck), David Johansen of New York Dolls fame and Cro-Mags.
One of the shareholders of CBGB assets spoke to the New York Times about the event. “We’re trying to continue the idea of supporting live music, making a lot of noise and being a part of New York City,” said Tim Hayes. “The festival is one way we can do it. Eventually the club will be another way we can do it.”
The club? That’s right, a group of investors have purchased the lucrative CBGB trademark and licensing rights from Lisa Kristal Burgman, the daughter of late CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, and hope to one day reopen the legendary club in a new downtown locale. They even have most of the items from inside the former club — from the actual bar to old set lists and more — which were put in storage when it closed in 2006.
So while CBGB is gone for now, its rebellious spirit for promoting up-and-comers can now live on through the CBGB Festival – and maybe one day another incarnation of the club.