Think of Brooklyn’s Northside Festival as the thinking person’s summer concert series.
Beginning today through June 14, there will be the usual packed week of music, movies and art. But what festival director Dana Keith is excited to introduce this year is the intimate Real Talk innovation series from Northside Innovative, the festival’s entrepreneurial, content and design focused conference.
“We’re steering away from panels and going with a more fireside approach with our talks this year,” Keith says.
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The idea is to create a more intimate connection between the speakers and audience. Northside Innovative has a slate of seminars, from teambuilding to publishing, and networking events scheduled, where you can get up close and personal with company founders and editors from Brooklyn Based, Gothamist, clothing brand Bonobos and skincare line Glossier.
Keith describes the Real Talk series as a chance to give attendees an honest look at the struggles of starting a business. “The people coming to these talks want to change lives,” she says.
“They are trying to become creators and thinkers, whether it’s in a band or with film or in a business. The goal is learn and grow from each other. Northside Innovation is a massive celebration of discovery.”
The biggest part of the festival remains its concert series, spread over three stages in McCarren Park and headlined by Neko Case, Run the Jewels and Best Coast, but this is also the place to find the next big thing with over 400 bands and solo artists performing free and ticketed shows.
For the film buffs, screenings of independent movies and documentaries will be held around the city, including a Hungarian mini-festival featuring the Berlinale-feted film “Land of Storms,” described as the Hungarian “Brokeback Mountain” about rural soccer players.
Northside Art’s outdoor art installations, among them a cloud sculpture and a moving creature made of garbage, will be set up along Bedford Avenue as a part of Williamsburg Walks.
Events range from $30 to $35 for weeklong passes. Keith has high hopes that attendees will come to Northside Festival with open minds and curious spirits, and leave with new favorites.
“I want the whim of attending Northside to change the way these people see the arts because they took a chance,” she says. “The idea is to leave being able to say, ‘I saw it here first.’”