Astoria Music & Arts Gear Up For Astoria Music Now! 2012
Astoria Music & Arts, a non-profit group which works to expose the best of Astoria’s musicians and artists to the public, has been keeping busy since their last major festival: Astoria Music Now! 2011.
Every year, AM&A showcases dozens of bands in Astoria Park alongside art displays, games and supporting sponsors as a part of the festival. Due to unfavorable weather, 2011’s event was hosted in a number of local bars and venues instead of the park, where they successfully kept the spirit of the festival intact despite its physical division. Since then, with hopes of better weather, the group has been hosting a number of free and fundraising events leading up to this year’s Astoria Music Now! 2012.
Amongst their recent fundraisers was the first of the “Summah Series”, a series of live shows the organization has planned to fund the 2012 festival. The first fundraiser took place on Saturday, July 7, at Spike Hill (184 & 186 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn). Although it was plagued with problems—including a fire next door which took out the air conditioning, lack of ice at the bar and two blackouts—AM&A Co-Founder Justin Finley claims the benefit was still a success in its endeavor to raise excitement for the festival. “A real human experience took shape and the first ember of hope was kindled for the fifth annual Astoria Music Now! fest.”
But as with AM&A’s other events, good music is not the only thing the Summah Series, or AM&A, has to offer. “We are raffling prizes from local business like a dinner for two at Hinomaru Ramen, a new Japanese cuisine place that just opened up on Ditmars,” said Astoria Music & Arts member David Guevara prior to Saturday’s fundraiser. “We are also raffling some prizes from Belief Skateshop and hopefully a tattoo from a local tattoo artist.”
The group is also airing a video web-series, “Do You Know Who I Am!?”—“a satirical perspective of the music scene in Astoria”, as Finley describes it—at Hell Gate Social on July 22 at 8 p.m. The fundraiser for the series, where local bands such as Beecher’s Fault and co-founder Josh Schulman’s band Thunderbang! played prior to the web-series’ preview, took place in early May.
Those looking to attend future events, including the second Summah Series fundraiser on July 27, can be updated via the group’s Facebook page or at their Web site, www.astoriamusicandarts.org. The fifth annual Astoria Music Now! festival is set to take place with over 30 bands on five stages throughout Astoria Park on Saturday, September 8.