As I strolled down Flushing Avenue in Queens last weekend, what was once a dry, hot summer afternoon quickly turned into a full-blown rainstorm. While pulling out my umbrella, I wondered to myself what would happen to this year’s Out in the Streets Festival — I hoped to myself that it would not get cancelled. I was intrigued by the festival, and excited to see what it was all about. After bearing through the storm, I finally arrived at The Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, the festival’s location in Ridgewood. New York City’s oldest Dutch Colonial house was arguably a peculiar site for a music festival, but the atypical location was exactly what made it significant. The show was set up in the backyard, complete with a variety of tents that each represented a different aspect of the arts.
SATURDAY 07/16/16 – QUEENS, NEW YORK
The small, intimate setting under the main tent made for the perfect listening experience; each band was able to entertain a crowd of no more than fifty. In turn, audience members were able to enjoy each set up close, no matter where they were standing.
I arrived just in time to catch Brooklyn-based post-punk band Future Punx—having seen the group perform twice before, I was already accustomed to their extra terrestrial sound. The Punx attracted the largest crowd of the afternoon with their spooky melodies, and their performance was a borderline out-of-body experience. What I love most about this band is their creation of a new genre: “post-wave.” A cross between post-punk and new-wave, it sounds just like my mom’s warped New Order record in the best way possible.
After leaving the tent feeling funky, I strolled around the space to see what else was in store. On this particular day, I only had time to scope out a few tents. My first stop was a small clothing store, which was selling summer garments with interesting patterns and vibrant colors. After I poked around for a bit, I was able to stop by the Bronx Brewery’s tent to learn a bit about their upcoming draft beers. Soon enough, I heard the next band begin to sound check, so I made my way back to the stage.
Beverly is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band, made up of Drew Citron and Scott Rosenthal. Established in 2013, the group has had more than enough practice performing in front of crowds, and it certainly showed. While head-banging along with the rest of the crowd, I specifically enjoyed the girl-power coming from Citron’s lead vocalist—the perfect contrast between Beverly and their preceding act.
These are only a few of the highlights of Out in the Street’s first day—the festival was off to a groovy start, and as I walked out of the Onderdonk House that evening, I began to anticipate the next day.
SUNDAY 07/17/16 – QUEENS, NEW YORK
The second day of Out in the Streets was hotter than the first. If this wasn’t obvious from the sweat dripping off of everyone’s forehead, a short walk up the hill in the backyard of the Onderdonk House led to a small kiddie pool where audience members were able to cool off. I myself did not participate, but I did have some time to browse the tents I missed on Saturday. This led me to my favorite tent of the festival—the pocket wall. This art piece was a tapestry with pockets of every different color and design sewn onto it. Participants were able to write a small note about what they would most want to find in a pocket. After writing my own, I headed over to the main tent to catch the first set.
One of the main highlights of the day was Brooklyn-based alternative rock band EZTV. The three-piece group put on quite a show in support of their upcoming album, High in Place, which drops in September. As the boys rocked out on stage, I thought about how accurate the band’s name is—both live and recorded, the group is easy to listen to, and easy to watch. Their laid back rock sound reminded me of one of my favorite bands, Big Star.