Astoria ready to rock

On Saturday, July 24, Astoria Park will play host to 29 bands and an estimated 3,000 spectators for the third annual Astoria Music Now festival.

Through emailing lists, blogs, Facebook and postcards, Astoria Music and Arts, the group organizing and hosting the event, was able to attract an expected 3,000 fans, primarily between 20 and 40 years old.

“We’re making a mark, and I think this festival is really going to prove that,” said Justin Finley, the Creative Director of Astoria Music and Arts.

The festival is being held in Astoria Park, located between Hoyt Avenue South and Ditmars Boulevard along Shore Boulevard. After the yoga session, the music will begin at noon and end at 9 p.m. Admission to the concert is free, thanks to funds raised by the organization throughout the year.

Many bands will be playing throughout the day, including Kraut, Consider the Source, Schaffer and The Darklords, The Jamies, Thunderbang!, and many others. There will be many other activities going on throughout the festival, such as a free yoga session on stage at 11 a.m., numerous art vendors, clothing and food, photography and art displays and a live graffiti exhibition with artists from the 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center.

Astoria Music Now will serve as a homecoming for Kraut, who has achieved national recognition and is originally from Astoria.

“It’s a great privilege to have a name come out of the neighborhood. It gives hope to up-and-coming bands that we’re dealing with now,” said Finley.

Astoria Music and Arts was founded by Finley in 2008 after he, his band and several other local bands became frustrated with the lack of a music scene and venue in Astoria. Although they’re involved with many events throughout the year, Astoria Music Now is their largest and most important.

“This is the big thing that we’re all working towards, so it’s really exciting for all of us,” said Liz Nieves, Astoria Music and Arts’ Press Director.


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