Six Bands On Two Stages: Beacon’s Riverfest

Riverfest 2011. Photo courtesy of Riverfest

June 30 all-day free music fest runs the musical gamut

Local 845 will present its third annual Beacon Riverfest outdoor music concert in the city’s Riverfront Park beginning at noon on Saturday, June 30. The 2012 line-up of musical artists includes the thunderous 10-piece brass band Brooklyn Qawwali Party; the ‘bearded and funked-out’ Bing Ji Ling; high-energy power pop trio The Figgs; two-piece rock band Schwervon!; local surf trio The Octomen; and under the Kids & Family tent, the M Shanghai String Band.​ Admission is free, with donations welcome. Here are some details on the headliners, provided by the organizers:

Brooklyn Qawwali Party
This brass band reworks 700-year-old Pakistani Sufi music called Qawwali — think gospel music goes to Pakistan — into a sound that gets folks dancing, shaking, sweating, and even whirling. “…chilled-out, feel good music to the fullest … sweet, summery sounds”—Paper Magazine

The Figgs
Brash punk freaks, recklessly mixing elements of punk and pop but rarely losing sight of a solid hook. Long-time backers of Graham Parker too.

“Party/Folk/Rock/Pop makes cute fun out of the Big Black blueprint.” —Village Voice

The Octomen
Beacon’s original high-octane surf trio inspired by punk, metal, and early rock and roll.

M Shanghai String Band
“Like a modern day medicine show.”—Tommy Ramone

Band videos, photos and more can be viewed at the Riverfest website.

Local 845 is producing the event. Under the direction of musician and producer Stephen Clair, who was the recipient of a Dutchess County Executive Arts Award in Oct 2011, Local 845 has continuously produced concerts and live music shows in Beacon and surrounding areas since 2007. Local 845 presents a variety of original rock, folk, jazz and contemporary musical artists year-round at Beacon’s historical Howland Cultural Center and more non-traditional locales such as Open Space Gallery, University Settlement Camp and Spire Studios.

​In addition to launching Beacon Riverfest in 2010, Local 845 also produced Pete Seeger If I Had A Hammer: Concert For a House, a benefit for Habitat for Humanity presented at Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, New York. Since August 2011, Local 845 has produced Scenic Hudson’s Rhythm on The Riverfront Concert Series, four weekly free concerts in Beacon’s newly renovated Long Dock Park, and its In The Pines concerts at Beacon’s University Settlement Camp are one of the most popular mini-festival series in the region.​

Beacon Riverfest has secured unprecedented sponsorship to expand this year’s event. The 2012 roster includes marquee sponsors Beacon Natural Market and WFUV-FM, with generous support from Ameriprise Financial Services, Rhinebeck Savings Bank, Dutchess County Arts Council (DCAC), Beacon Arts Community Association (BACA), and the City of Beacon.​ For more information, please contact Stephen Clair, festival director at [email protected]

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