The rumor earlier this year that CBGB, the storied Bowery punk club shuttered a few years back in order to make room for a store hawking overpriced menswear and vinyl, would be returning to the city in some form has apparently come closer to actually becoming true. Bryan Kuntz over at This Ain’t The Summer Of Love (found via EV Grieve) visited the bygone venue’s still-kicking official site and found an announcement for a festival—with “music, food, conference, [and] drink”—branded with the CBGB logo and scheduled for July 4-8. Other details—lineups, venues, cost, number of conference panels that will look wistfully back on The Good Old Days—are scant, but there is a link to CBGB Facebook page and another where interested bands can apply for consideration via the talent broker Sonicbids. That link elaborates a bit more on the festival’s aims:
The CBGB Festival is a five day celebratory showcase of music, film, distilled spirits and learning. From The Bowery and the Lower East Side to the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, join them as they turn it up as loud as it will go this year during the 4th of July holiday week. July 4-8, 2012: Named for the greatest rock-n-roll venue in the world; they proudly introduce the first Annual CBGB Festival. Experience four energy-fueled days & nights of music, rock-n-roll films, insider-industry workshops, and intimate storytelling; all LIVE, all in New York City. CBGB has defined music and culture for generations of people around the world. Universally recognized as the birthplace of punk, CBGB continues to define new music and popular culture by fostering live performances & personal expression from artists around the city and across the globe.
The CBGB Festival will produce one of New York’s largest and most energetic music events in recent history. Rounding out the festival will be hundreds of performances, showcase concerts and music themed filmed parties & events in all five boros of NYC with a special focus on the Lower East Side & Brooklyn.
Attendees of the CBGB Festival will have a rare opportunity to showcase their creative talents to the numerous music fans from around the globe inclusive of leading record executives, award winning producers, managers, agents and globally published media. CBGB has always believed in supporting live music and new talent. The CBGB Festival aims to continue this tradition for many years to come.
A little stuffed with marketing-speak, and I don’t know if CBGB can still be called “the greatest rock-n-roll venue in the world” (the waning years before the closing was announced and the big names came back were a little rough, lineup-wise), and the whole “do we need branded nostalgia in order to represent forward-thinking music” argument still stands (the genres the festival’s looking for, according to the Sonicbids page, are overwhelmingly guitar-centric—hip-hop and electronic music aren’t mentioned), as does the fact that there’s so much free music in New York City every summer that paying for a four-day branded bender might be seen as a not-very-attractive proposition by potential ticket-buyers. But I guess we’ll see. At the very least, the festival should be fully stocked with branded merch!