October 9 through 11, 2015
A wide variety of events scheduled in Somerville, Cambridge, & Boston
ALL FREE AND OPEN TO ALL
Special attention must be paid to milestone birthdays. The HONK! Festival’s 10th year is one of those occasions. As of this writing, the roster of socio-political activist street bands totals 28! They are coming from as far away as Paris, Los Alamos, New Orleans, Montreal and Quebec City. But it wouldn’t be HONK! without some last minute surprises!
The roster also includes many Boston-area bands, including a new local School of HONK!, based in Somerville, who will be organizing “walk-in” opportunities for local musicians who are not affiliated with an existing HONK! band. The recommendation is to keep checking www.honkfest.org/2015-festival/bands-2015 early and often for updates on participating groups.
This year is quite a transformation from HONK!’s 2006 humble beginnings, when 12 HONK! bands joined forces on a mellow October Saturday afternoon in Davis Square, Somerville, immediately turning everything topsy turvy. Those initial bands gathered in response to a call sent out by the Somerville-based Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, who had a need to seek out kindred spirit music makers and invite them to gather and play their collective hearts out, while raising awareness for local and global just causes. The bands played in earnest, yet always in keeping with the bons temps rouler vibe, that became especially contagious after the Katrina disaster of 2005.
That New Orleanian spirit rising again, despite all odds, is clearly something that the initial HONK!ers wanted to emulate and perpetuate. In addition to celebrating the 10th HONK!, this year also marks the 10th anniversary of Katrina. HONK! is pleased that the New Creations Brass Band and the Original Big Seven Social Aid & Pleasure Club will again be able to join HONK!, coming up from New Orleans to help us mark their milestone of recovery efforts.
HONK! continues to thrive and spread, the phenomena rippling across the planet, with yearly HONK! festivals also being held in Providence, New York City, Seattle, Austin, and Detroit, as well as in Australia and Brazil. And every year, HONK! bands circle back to their HONK! birthplace in Somerville, to roost, squawk and strut their stuff. The shape of this year’s schedule will adhere to what has now become the HONK! tradition of holding primarily outdoor events, all free and open to the public, held rain or shine during Indigenous Peoples’ Day Weekend, this year running from Friday-Sunday, October 9 through 11.
The HONK! events will include what has become the annual favorites:
- HONK! Friday: Day of Action in Boston during the afternoon, early evening Lantern Parades throughout Somerville’s Davis Square neighborhood, and culminating in an evening band showcase at Johnny D’s;
- HONK! Saturday: main event held throughout the nooks and crannies of Davis Square, with continuous band performances taking place from noon-9pm, rain or shine;
- HONK! Sunday: the gigantic noon Parade heading from Davis Square to Cambridge’s Harvard Square, where HONK! bands will then participate in Oktoberfest, performing throughout the Square in the afternoon, and ending with a steady stream of HONK! bands showcased up on the Main Stage.
Extra HONK! curricular activities are in the planning stages, including the “Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action” art exhibit, with a “HONK! Around The World” component, hosted by the Nave Gallery Annex (www.navegallery.org) in Davis Square. An opening reception is scheduled for HONK! Friday. And the word is out that a pre-HONK! gathering will take place in Union Square Somerville on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 8th.
Keep tuning into www.honkfest.org for updates. A background video for this year’s HONK! can found at www.honkfest.org/kickstarter. The Kickstarter fundraiser runs through Wednesday, September 23rd.