While the Village Voice‘s own 4Knots is the best free festival in New York, when it comes to ticketed blowouts, Red Bull Music Academy Festival is impossible to beat. Rather than offering an overwhelming, two- or three-day lineup that rolls out one mostly unrelated band after another in the hot sun, the festival is a series of individual events that are both internally cohesive and, when considered together, speak to larger themes about the current state of music and how we got there. Reading through their lineups is an exercise in saying “How did they pull that off?” over and over.
Today, we learned who’s on deck for the 2016 edition, which runs from April 29 through May 22, and it’s as impressive as always. In another welcome break from traditional fests, there is no headliner, so let’s just dive into some highlights, shall we?
On May 18 and 19, ANOHNI, the Oscar-nominated composer and artist formerly of Antony and the Johnsons, debuts a new work at Park Avenue Armory. The Technopolis party on May 14 gathers many of the best DJs working today in Brooklyn, including Galcher Lustwork, Aurora Halal, Umfang, and Volvox. If you like jazz (especially the Afrofuturistic kind), there’s Kamasi Washington with Pharoah Sanders and the Sun Ra Arkestra on May 8. And that’s just three of nearly twenty events that cover hip-hop, electronica, film, and more.
The full lineup in handy graphic form (print it out for your fridge!) is below. On-sale dates have not been announced yet, but head to the RBMA Festival site to sign up for updates and details about the festival.