Over the past six and a half months or so, I’ve managed to adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as humanly possible. I’ve been out and about — but generally, my time has been fairly limited: the supermarket, the pharmacy, the post office, the occasional walk for exercise and to shoot, the occasional outdoor drink and outdoor meal.
During this site’s ten-plus year history, I’ve managed to develop a deep archive of unedited and unposted photos. Throughout most of JOVM”s existence, I’ve run and managed the site while holding full-time, corporate jobs working in book publishing an Editorial Assistant and Acquisitions Editor. My daily life frequently involved commuting from my Corona, Queens apartment to work in Manhattan, then to shows across town — and eventually home, if it was a weekday. Add having a social life and a romantic life and sometimes there just wasn’t enough time a day to do everything I wanted or needed to do. But because of pandemic-related lockdowns, extremely limited options and limited funds, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands — and it’s led to a lot of late night photo editing sessions while playing a wide spectrum of albums.
Sadly, much of this work going through photos has managed to be an uncomfortable reminder of the some of the things I’ve loved so much — and won’t get back for the foreseeable future, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fucking idiots, who won’t put something on their goddamn faces. So one more time, in case you didn’t understand: PUT SOMETHING OVER YOUR FUCKING FACE WHEN YOU GO OUTSIDE TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19!
As I’ve been digging through my various hard drives, I came across photos I had taken at 2016’s Northside Festival. Founded by sibling duo and co-founders of The L Magazine Scott and Danny Stedman, Northside Festival started under rather humble beginnings back in 2009 out of The Stedman Brothers’ one-bedroom apartment, as an offshoot of their popular magazine, which you used to be able to find in newspaper boxes, bars and other locations along the G and L trains. By 2016, Northside had grown exponentially to become North Brooklyn’s rival version of Austin‘s SXSW. During the last couple of years that I had covered it, the festival had a film festival and a growing TED Talks-like innovation portion. But while a SXSW badge could set you back a pretty penny before you paid for your airfare and a hotel, a Northside music badge would only set you back about $85 bucks.And as additional bonus, if you’re in the NYC area you don’t have to spend the additional money to travel and get a hotel to see many of the same bands, who would wind up playing at Northside anyway.
Northside’s eighth year saw a number of major changes to the bill: the film section was scrapped and was replaced for what the festival’s organizers dubbed “Northside Content.” According to festival organizers, Northside Content focused on uncovering what was next in original video content, featuring interactive presentations, roundtable discussions, Q&As and meets and greets with cutting edge content creators, brands and the industries around them. They continued the Innovation section. Part exhale, part trade show and part conference with panel talks, keynotes, pitch competitions and networking events, the Innovation section was designed to showcase some of the biggest, best and up-and-coming names in tech and the startup world. They also continued the highly popular Northside Art, which was held across a 13 block stretch of Bedford Avenue — from North 12th Street, Williamsburg’s northernmost border to Metropolitan Avenue — into a pedestrian only art fair/public park complete with interactive installations, temporary wall units, sculptures, pop up parks and more. Of course, the most important section for me was the Music Festival portion. Occurring during a three day period, the music festival portion featured 400 up-and-coming, established and legendary artists in more than 30 clubs, parks and outdoor stages in a number of showcases throughout Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick.
Northside’s fourth and final night was a very busy night that featured multiple stops including the first stop of the night — McCarren Park for the legendary Brian Wilson with Rostam and Spain’s Hinds. There was something special about hearing “God Only Knows” with about 5,000 of my neighbors under the stars — well, whatever stars we can see in New York — while feeding an adorable dog pretzels. I miss that small moment and I can’t have that again until we get COVID-19 under control. So, if you’re out in public: PUT A COVERING OVER YOUR FUCKING FACE WHENEVER YOU’RE IN PUBLIC AND CAN’T SOCIALLY DISTANCE — AND WASH YOUR GODDAMN HANDS, YOU FUCKING SELFISH PRICKS.
Check out photos from the showcase below.