September 2012: Spree Insider
Four diverse September Spree-sponsored events will make for a busy month of fundraising, and fun. How diverse? How do local bands, a yard sale that has to be seen to be believed, a Hallwalls tradition, and Oktoberfest sound?
Music is Art Festival, Sept. 15
The Music is Art Festival, now approaching its tenth anniversary, will return on September 15 in what festival organizers anticipate will be its biggest and best year to date. Founded in 2003 by Goo Goo Dolls bassist and Buffalo native Robby Takac, the MiA fuses a mix of bands, artists, photographers, DJs, dancers, not-for-profit representatives, food vendors, and “Kids Village” performers in an effort to celebrate the convergences between music and art, and also to highlight the depth of Buffalo’s art scene.
MiA truly can’t be contained. Returning to Delaware Park for its second year, not only will the festival be closing down the street, but it will also feature twenty-five percent more artists than the previous year as well as its first spoken word stage, bringing its stage count up to eleven. “It’s the tenth anniversary,” Takac says. “We were going to have ten stages, but there was just too much cool stuff—I couldn’t fit it on ten stages.”
From a “Battle of the Student Bands” to open performance submissions, MiA is committed to giving young or aspiring artists the chance to showcase their talents to larger audiences. At last year’s festival, some favorites returned to perform, but sixty percent of the bands chosen did not play the festival in 2010, and thirty percent never played it before. Virtually every genre of music is represented.
MiA’s influence reaches far beyond this free all-day event, running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The not-for-profit organization, run mostly by volunteers, conducts seven programs throughout the year. These include an instrument drive that has collected and refurbished thousands of instruments to donate to local schools; an “Awareness Tour,” employing music as a tool to educate young people about mental health, and “Music in Action,” which teaches music industry skills to students in underserved districts. “It’s so great. The community is really supportive of this festival,” Takac says. He is returning the favor. (musicisart.org)—G. N.
Kevin Guest House Oktoberfest, Sept. 21
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The air grows cooler, the leaves begin to change and breweries change their production from lighter, summer beers to their fall brews. And there’s no better place to sample one of these then during Kevin Guest House Oktoberfest.
Now in its seventh year, the event brings together over 400 guests to enjoy an evening of German-inspired fun ranging from listening to the sounds of the Frankfurters to supping on authentic German delicacies, including Spar’s European Sausage Shop’s German sausages, Flying Bison’s Oktoberfest brew, and many other foods. Beyond the dining options, patrons can partake in a yodeling contest, dancing, and five-minute chair massages. This evening of merriment supports the Kevin Guest House, a nonprofit organization that offers food, lodging, and care to outpatients and caregivers of hospitalized patients.
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door; purchase them at kevinguesthouse.org or by calling their office at 716-882-1818. All participants are encouraged to come in traditional German outfits.—W. R-S.
World’s Largest Yard Sale, Sept. 22
For all those bargain hunters in Buffalo, the World’s Largest Yard Sale is a perfect fit. Now in its thirteenth year, this biannual event pulls in around 8,000 shoppers to explore the more than 300 vendors, and a variety of peculiar and potentially rare items. Townsquare Media’s Karen Konecko describes it as a “mini fair day.”
“It’s become a staple now in Western New York,” Konecko says. “[People] look for it now. They save the date, they come and have a lot of fun.” The event will be held at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, on McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. It is presented by Country 106.5 WYRK, The People’s Station 93.7 WBLK, The NEW 96.1 Joy FM. and 92.9 Jack FM. (wyrk.com/event/the-worlds-largest-yard-sale-3)—W. R-S.
Hallwalls’ Artists & Models: Showoffs, Sept. 29
Continuing its tradition of bringing a wide variety of artists together for a unique evening of culture is Hallwalls’ Artists & Models event. This year’s A&M will take place in the former Pierce Arrow auto showroom. Last year’s installment, Rapture/Rupture, featured over thirty art installations and several musical acts to pull off what is known as “Buffalo’s longest-running and most outrageously fun arts party.”
“Visitors can expect a wide variety of art, with an emphasis on performance and participatory pieces,” says John Massier, Visual Arts Curator for Hallwalls. “[It’s] a sensory overload that will delight you in exact proportion to your ability to be delighted.” Showoffs will feature noted artists like Alice Alexandrescu, Phil Durgan, Jim McLaughlin, and Rachel Stover. For more info, visit hallwalls.org.—W. R-S.
Spree intern Gillian Nigro will be a sophomore at Ithaca College this fall, and intern Willie Robinson-Smith is a journalism and theater student at Northwestern University.