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CBGB Lives On With Music Festival; Possible Reopening

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Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images

Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images

E.J. Judge
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CBGB closed its doors on October 15, 2006, remaining only as a memory to those who experienced the club’s intensity during its heyday in the ’70s and ’80s. Today, it is merely a logo on an artificially vintage t-shirt sold at Urban Outfitters, worn by kids who weren’t even alive when sweat and angst filled its walls.

But that could all change when the CBGB Festival hits New York City from July 5-8.

At the beginning of the year, there were whispers circulating that new owners had plans to reopen New York City’s famous punk-rock club. Now it appears those rumors are true, with new owners hoping to pump new life into New York City’s music scene with the music and film festival.

“We’re never going to recreate that moment in time,” said Tim Hayes, one of the investors, to the New York Times. “We’re trying to continue the idea of supporting live music, making a lot of noise and being a part of New York City. The festival is one way we can do it.”

Modeled after Austin’s SXSW and New York City’s CMJ, the CBGB Festival will feature film screenings, workshops and conferences, in addition to concerts with more than 300 bands at 30 locations in New York City and Brooklyn.

The festival’s lineup will boast seasoned acts likes New York Doll David Johansen, and the Baseball Project, a group formed by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn, plus many up-and-coming bands like Cloud Nothings and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Tickets and badges are currently available at the festival site, with combinations starting as low as $69, but rising as high as $499 the day of the festival.

If and when CBGB does reopen, it will be at a new location downtown and have most of the clubs original decor at its disposal. The items are currently located at a 3,000-square-foot storage space in Williamsburg. The new owners hope to focus on supporting local artists, much like founder Hilly Kristal did for the Talking Heads, the Ramones, Blondie, Sonic Youth and Patti Smith.


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