Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Music events in the Downtown: Midtown Music Atlanta, etc.

Oops. I put this in the queue without finishing it and set it to run.

Atlanta's Music Midtown Atlanta is one such event, which is next week.

Many cities have big music-related events--in the city, rather than in large venues in the suburbs.

Bumbershoot in Seattle is one of the biggest and was just held.

Silver Lake in Los Angeles had a big music festival which for many years helped define the community as a cool place, but it closed down a couple years ago, having problems with money -- the cost of running such events, especially when charged by the local jurisdiction for street closures, inspections, police and emergency services, is very high ("Silver Lake loses another street festival," The Eastsider LA).

Austin, Texas has two big events. South by Southwest, which has become much bigger than music (Economic Impact Study, 2015 participation statistics), and the event related to the Austin City Limits music program on PBS-TV. The latter is held for two successive weekends in October, with the same bill.

When in Essen Germany last August, I got to experience a bit of the Essen Original event, which is held in the pedestrianized city center.  It was really cool, and I'd like to go back to experience it again.

The interesting thing about that event is that the city center isn't "mixed use" in the sense that it includes residential blocks although there are some hotels. So that means that local residents aren't inclined to organize against such an event because of the crowds and noise.

Unlike say for Riot Fest in Chicago, which was forced to move to another location because of resident opposition, but the new location isn't necessarily smooth sailing either ("Riot Fest will go on; hospital, festival settle dispute," Chicago Sun-Times).

Most street festivals have music as a key element. Some present it on big stages, others, like the Carytown Watermelon Festival in Richmond, present music very simply, mostly without stages.

Image from the Kansas City Star of PorchFest KC.

At the more neighborhood level are various "Porchfests," first pioneered I think in Ithaca, NY (blog entry from 2007), but in the DC area are offered in Takoma Park and coming up in Adams-Morgan (October 3rd).

In short, I would rather we had these events in the city than in the suburbs.

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At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music and skateboarding @the KenCen....

...not to mention, a fun skateboard/art exhibit in the Hall of Nations.

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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