New Colossus Festival: MUNYA at Berlin Under A 3/7/19
I’ve been adhering to social distancing guidelines and quarantines as much as humanly possible over the past five-and-a-half months. I’ve mentioned this countless times before but my time in the outside world has been fairly limited: most of the time, it’s for errands — the supermarket, the pharmacy, the post office and the occasional walk for exercise and photos. And thanks to outdoor dining and drinking, I’ve gone out for drinks and meals here and there. But for the most part, most of my time has been focused on work.
Over the course of this site’s ten year history, I’ve managed to develop a deep archive of unedited photos. Throughout much of this site’s history, I’ve balanced my work with JOVM with working full-time, corporate jobs in book publishing as an Editorial Assistant and Acquisitions Editor. So my daily life involved at least two hours of commuting back and forth a day; eight hours of work a day; then commuting to a show maybe three or four days a week depending on the week and what I had going on for work. Add actually working on the blog and maybe occasionally wanting a social and romantic life and sometimes there just wasn’t enough time in my day to do everything I needed or wanted to do. Because of COVID-19 lockdowns and limited options, I have nothing but time, so there are a lot of late night photo editing sessions.
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 going through my various hard drives and files, I came across previously unedited photos I had taken from the inaugural New Colossus Festival, last year. Co-founded by three New York music industry vets and longtime friends, Lorimer Beacon‘s founder and head Mike Bell, Kanine Records‘ founder and label head Lio Kanine and Kepler Events and Lola NYC‘s Steven Matrick, the inaugural New Colossus Festival — which officially took place between March 7, 2019 and March 10, 2019 — featured 100 handpicked, emerging indie bands and artists from the US, Canada, the UK and the European Union.
Taking place before SXSW, New Colossus Festival has been viewed as a stopover that will give acts an opportunity to play curated showcases at a number of venues located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and East Village, including Berlin Under A, Lola NYC, Pianos, The Bowery Electric, Arlene’s Grocery, and The Delancey for fans and industry professionals alike. As co-founder Steven Matrick told BrooklynVegan back in late 2018, the festival’s founders aimed for a CMJ-like vibe for their festival. “CMJ left such a vacuum, not only for independent music venues, but for bands all over the world that used it as a way to play New York City every year,” Matrick told BrooklynVegan. “We chose a very convenient weekend to try to bring back that opportunity. We’d also been discussing a way for these venues to work together again and resurrect the collaborative aspect of Manhattan’s music scene.”
The first full day of the inaugural New Colossus Festival saw me bouncing around to a handful of venues across the Lower East Side, including an intimate set by French Canadian JOVM mainstay MUNYA at Berlin Under A. Check out photos from that set below.