Free Beacon Riverfest returns to Riverfront Park

Brooklyn Qawwali Party

There’s something about rivers and music. Maybe it’s that both are temporal arts? When you are looking for a place to situate your music festival, start with mountains and riversides. For Beacon Riverfest, the choice was obvious and eponymous. The third annual Riverfest will happen this Saturday, June 30 at Beacon’s Riverfront Park, a 5,000-capacity peninsula that juts into the Hudson River. Festivities begin at 12 noon and conclude at 8 p.m.

In keeping with Beacon’s growing reputation as a center of modern art, this year’s lineup of bands emphasizes high energy and retro-hip. Schwervon! embodies the husband/wife, primitivist guitar/drums duo archetype in a way that is more New York and Velvet Underground-inspired than White Stripes. The Wiyos [see previous Almanac band feature on our website,] play a manic old-time Americana hybrid. The ten-piece brass group Brooklyn Qawwali Party serves up funky interpretations of 700-year-old Pakistani/Sufi music inspired by the legendary Nusrah Fateh Ali Khan. The Figgs bring the bristling punk/pop, while Beacon’s own Octomen are (numeric implications of their name notwithstanding) a kind of surf trio. Under the Kids and Family Tent, the M. Shanghai Trio will perform.

Admission is free, but donations are welcome. For more information on the event and its performers, visit

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