All photos by Nicholas Gazin.
This year’s Afro-Punk Festival was held at Commodore Barry Park this weekend and I was there, taking photos. When I first heard about Afro-Punk I thought it was actually a festival for African punk, but it's not. The basic theme seems to be that most of talent is rock bands with some black members, but then Das Racist performed and they're not black or rock ‘n' roll so I don't know if there’s one solid overarching theme to the music or the festival. Das Racist, Cerebral Ballzy, Ninjasonik, Spank Rock, TV on the Radio, Erykah Badu, and Roofeeo were playing so I didn't spend too much time trying to decode what Afro-Punk means.
Music festivals are an overwhelming experience for me because I'm ADD. Hearing music coming from multiple directions at once and being surrounded by thousands of people gives me vertigo and makes it impossible for me to focus on any one thing or keep track of time or locations. When I show up to festivals I try not to worry about a schedule and just wander around and gawk at people since trying to accomplish anything is just an unneeded cause of stress.
When Tunde from TV on The Radio came on stage to give the final performance of the festival he greeted the 30,000 people with "All the most beautiful people in Brooklyn are here. As well as the ugliest. And the middling ones." David Cross said that living in New York you're constantly faced with a situation where you have to look at the most beautiful woman you've ever seen or the craziest guy you've ever seen. The craziest and most beautiful were all there this weekend.
I guess the general theme of Afro-Punk was posi vibes, and I had a pretty friendly time with some of my favorite people. Take a look at my snapshots.