This Week, a New York City Music Festival Born in Florida

Theater 80Courtesy of S.S.A. Theater 80

A music festival taking place across both Villages this week is being billed as “East Meets West.” And the organizers? They’re from down south.

Kicking off Wednesday and lasting five days, NYC’s New Music Festival will feature over 130 artists  – from indie, folk and alternative rock to rap and hip hop – at a variety of venues.

Unlike the CBGB Festival, which last week announced it would return in May, the organizers of this festival aren’t from around here. It’s the first production that the Songwriters Showcases of America will stage outside of its home base in Florida.

Phil Weidner, president of the S.S.A., said the 13-year-old company had been trying to put together a festival outside of Florida for years. New York City, he said, was a no-brainer. “We wanted to focus on the East and West Villages to show that’s really the magnet of where good local, live music is being featured in Manhattan,” he told The Local.

Under St. MarksCourtesy of S.S.A. Under St. Marks

To that end, Mr. Weidner spent the past four months traveling between Florida and New York, scouting venues. Twenty-four of them will participate, with over a dozen in the East Village. Even theaters that don’t typically showcase live music, like Theater 80 and the Kraine Theater, have jumped on board. The kick-off show – featuring Carl Banks, a New-York based funk-tinged roots rock artist, as well as several other acts – takes place at Under St. Marks.

“This is a good tool to help people and music artists get out and see music they wouldn’t know about or venues they wouldn’t know about,” Mr. Weidner said.

A map of participating venues and a list of artists can be found at the SSA’s website, where five-day all-access passes are available for $35. Tickets for individual shows can be purchased at the box office of each venue on the day-of, or at Other Music.