Features NY Life — 14 June 2012
The Catalpa NYC Music Festival Takes Over Randalls Island On July 28th – 29th!


The live music experience is like none other. It’s simply a remarkable feeling to be mere feet away from an artist you admire or finding out about a new one who you will listen to on repeat for the next week. Although New York City is no stranger to the music festival, each one is unique in presenting its own voice. The famed outdoor venue, Randall’s Island will be the home to an inaugural event so massive, it must take place over two overstuffed exciting days. It’s the “Catalpa NYC Music Festival,” a two day celebration of creativity featuring a highly diverse music line-up, on site artistry, interactive experiences, and amazing local food. Speaking of music, we are not kidding when we say the stellar lineup is diverse. The two day festival will feature genres spanning blues, rock, hip-hop, electronic, reggae, and indie. You want killer acts? Well how about hip-hop legend ‘Snoop Dogg’ playing his landmark album “Doggystyle” in it’s entirety? More of a rocker? Well, head to the front of the stage to jam out to ‘The Black Keys,’ ‘Cold War Kids’ and ‘TV on the Radio.’

I won’t mince words when I tell you ‘Catalpa NYC’ is one of those festivals that if you don’t attend you’ll be kicking yourself on Monday when all your buddies and co-workers are chatting about the great time they had. You don’t have to take our word for it alone though. LocalBozo.com was fortunate to grab a few minutes with busy ‘Catalpa NYC’ founder, Dave Foran. Mr. Foran provided us with some great insight into exactly how this first ever event will run ranging from the incredible music line-up all the way to the innovative side exhibitions. You seriously need to get over to their website and pick up your ticket right now. This is a festival that is sure to sell out.

LocalBozo.com: How did the, “Catalpa NYC Music Festival” come to fruition?
Dave Foran: Catalpa Festival is my attempt to bring a very large, comprehensive destination festival to NYC. In my eyes NYC, as one of the largest and most incredible cities in the world, just did not have a substantial and amazing music festival to really call its own. While trying to create a big and well rounded musical line-up at Catalpa with huge artists like The Black Keys or Snoop Dogg, for me it really needed to be something more than that. The real emphasis needs to be on creating something that goes beyond peoples normal expectations of what a music festival can be. I am also placing a large emphasis on the site artistry, aesthetics and experience based elements at the festival that aim to take people out of their normal city surroundings and into a world a bit eclectic and more surreal for a weekend, right in NYC’s own backyard on Randalls Island! Whether this is through; ‘Frisky’s Church of Sham Marriages’ where a pimp pastor will be marrying people, ‘The Silent Disco,’ ‘High Times Magazine’s Reggae Stage,’ ‘The World’s Smallest Nightclub,’ Private VIP cabanas with their own hot-tubs or art installations created by Yoko Ono, it is this visual and experiential based overload that I feel will really give the event longevity and keeps people talking about it for following years.

LocalBozo.com: What sets, “Catalpa” apart from other music festivals hitting New York City this summer?
DF: The Church of Sham Marriages is one of the many examples of this and is actually coming over from Holland just for Catalpa! (People from home may recognize it from Electric Picnic, its the same one!!!) I intend to take it quite a bit further though and I will have a full time pimp pastor on hand to conduct all sham marriages throughout the weekend. We are providing wedding veils, candy wedding rings and the whole works! We already have plenty of people signed up for them! Even beyond that we have a couple coming from Georgia who are going to get legitimately married at the festival so we are arranging for a proper minister to be there and I am trying to have Snoop Dogg do the nuptials!! The couple are fine with it so I’m trying to work it out with Snoop’s camp as best as possible!! That will be world-wide news!

LocalBozo.com:Please describe the process for picking a line-up as diverse as this one?
DF: I really didn’t want to pigeon-hole this festival in its first year as I fully intend for it to be a much larger, multi-genre festival as it grows. I set out to create a line-up filled with bags of substance and character. This was definitely never going to be a pop festival but on the other hand it was never going to be a completely indie event either. There is a middle ground there where a credible mix of rock, indie hip-hop and a touch of electronic fit nicely together. For example I have always been a big fan of old-school Snoop Dogg and the basis for him playing the ‘Doggystyle’ album in full was just for the pure timeless nature of that album and the nostalgia and warm feelings it brings to people around my own age, it is a quirky and left-field call but when you add up enough of these elements it creates an overall vibe at the event that is interesting and ultimately gives it it’s own character. I wonder how many people at Catalpa would have bought that album as one of the first cassettes they ever owned!?

The Black Keys as the main festival headliner was a no brainer to me. They were the first band I went after and in my opinion are hands down the coolest rock band in the world! I have been a big fan of these guys from their beginning and it’s great to see them have the success they are now having. I don’t think anyone is doing this classic blues-rock as well as them and for me they fit the overall vibe of the festival that I wanted to get across perfectly.

LocalBozo.com: What is being done so guests can see all of acts they came for, with as little overlap as possible?
DF: I am really trying hard to ensure that people don’t miss out on artists they may like due to conflicts. I think I will have this nailed down except for some slight overlap between stage 1 and 2 for some sets. At a mid-sized festival like Catalpa this can be achieved but I also don’t want to limit a well rounded line-up just to have this tag-line of “no overlapping sets”. I honestly believe it is a cheap way for small festivals to justify a bare and small line-up and twist that into a marketing plug. I know I would much prefer to be spoiled for choice with great artists than have to watch or try to dance my way through something I’m just not really into!!

LocalBozo.com: What can concert goers expect from the much talked about, “A Taste Of New York at Catalpa?”
DF: I am trying to put together something that again, goes beyond people’s normal expectations of a music festival. I am in the process of settling things with some really amazing and well known local restaurants and vendors to create an interesting, eclectic and higher quality array of food options at Catalpa.

LocalBozo.com: Is there anything additional you would like to leave the readers of LocalBozo.com with in regards to the, “Catalpa NYC Music Festival?”
DF: If people don’t walk into the site of Catalpa and think, “What the hell is going on here??” then I really wont be happy with myself!! Also, get a ticket because in 10 years you will have the bragging rights that you were there the first time it happened!!

- The LocalBozo.com Team

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