The River to River® Festival presented by American Express, the nation’s largest free arts festival, will kick off its 2006 season with a spectacular launch series that reflects the breadth of this extraordinary cultural extravaganza. Now in its fifth year, the Festival has evolved into one of the greatest vehicles anywhere for bringing the arts to new audiences and new artists to public attention.
The launch series – from June 1 to 4 – showcases the variety, quality and creativity for which the Festival has become renowned. It includes the following events:
Eleven-time GRAMMY® Award winner Ricky Skaggs headlining a Big Apple bluegrass blowout;
Renowned indie rock band Super Furry Animals showcasing another round of musical innovation;
The first free performance of New York’s own 11-hour Bang on a Can Marathon;
An exciting new direction in street theater – The Boat, Bike, and Buoy Parade – covering 25 historic blocks in Lower Manhattan.
Throughout the summer, the Festival will offer more than 500 free cultural events at some of New York’s most picturesque settings – all in Lower Manhattan.
“The Festival will once again offer a wide array of world-class music, dance, and visual arts free of charge,” said Valerie Lewis, a presenter of the River to River Festival. “In doing so, it will bring more than a million people downtown for summer entertainment and continue to contribute greatly to the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.”
The River to River launch series lineup is as follows:
June 1, 12-noon – 2:00pm
Boat, Bike & Buoy Parade
Starting at Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park and ending at the South Street Seaport
Get swept away with a parade like no other, organized by veteran parade producers Great Small Works. You can stand and watch or choose to march along the route joining the parade at any one of six key points for special performances. See characters on stilts, inflatable architecture, gigantic masks, brass bands, an orchestra of bicycle instruments, and more! Spectacle and surprise are around every bend as the pageant runs through the canyons of Lower Manhattan. www.RivertoRiverNYC.com
Thursday, June 1, 7:00 pm
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder with Andy Statman, Carrie Rodriguez and Citigrass
The legendary Ricky Skaggs will headline a Big Apple tribute to bluegrass music at one of the oldest music venues in New York City. Ricky will be joined by Klezmer sensation Andy Statman, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Austin fiddler and songstress Carrie Rodriguez, and Urban Bluegrass entrepreneurs Citigrass. Two free tickets per person will be distributed at the Castle on a first come first served basis starting at 5pm the day of the show. Rain location: Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, Spruce Street entrance. www.RivertoRiverNYC.com
Friday, June 2, 7:00 pm
Super Furry Animals
South Street Seaport, Pier 17
Fusing a number of disparate musical genres - including power pop, punk-rock, techno, and progressive rock – this renowned Welsh band creates shimmering, melodic, irreverent, and willfully artsy rock & roll. With their ever-amazing visuals, this will no doubt be a rare evening you just shouldn’t miss.
Sunday, June 4, 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Bang on a Can Marathon
World Financial Center Winter Garden
Bang on a Can boldly embarks on a a mind-bending, ear-stretching marathon of musical innovation that combines fringe rock, bizarre pop, new classical, alternate-jazz and world music in a concert presentation that defies classification. The Marathon includes the following:
o Kids “Can” Too