Way more than 76 trombones
October 7, 2020 10:36 AM   Subscribe

More than 76 activist street bands and brass and percussion ensembles from around the world are celebrating HONK! United this week (Oct. 5-11). Started 15 years ago, the HONK! Fest in Somerville, MA is an annual vibrant, raucous, free festival that has spawned similar festivals in more than 20 cities - from Austin to Wollongong. This year, with festivals cancelled, the organizers decided to host a virtual festival and invite bands to submit ideas for live and video performances and retrospectives. Now, you can enjoy HONK! United from your own home!

While a virtual festival may not have quite the same visceral impact, performances screened so far have been moving and glorious testaments to the power of music in the streets. And not just music! Wild costumes, stilt walkers, giant puppets, and flag twirlers delight the eyes while brass, reeds, and percussion tickle the ears. And underneath it all, the message is about love, community, solidarity, democracy, and the ability of ordinary people to make extraordinary things.

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posted by acridrabbit (9 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for the post, HONK is hands-down my favorite festival in Austin. (Given how many festivals there are in Austin, that's saying a lot!) Brass bands just bring so much joy wherever they go.
posted by of strange foe at 10:56 AM on October 7 [2 favorites]

One of the great things about living in that area was the more formal HONK! festival followed immediately by the Providence PRONK! festival immediately after. PRONK! was always smaller, more intimate, and way crazier.

This year PRONK! is online and 100% BIPOC lead.

If you need a lift, I cannot encourage you enough to “attend” either or both of these. It is energy, joy, and the pure delight of being alive. Every time.
posted by Silvery Fish at 11:04 AM on October 7 [5 favorites]

I accidentally stumbled into HONK! about 10 years ago in Somerville. I remember feeling like I had found my people (and, then I moved away). Thanks for the link about how it has grown, and maybe this year I can "go"!
posted by nat at 11:21 AM on October 7 [5 favorites]

I'm so glad they're managing to get Honk! happening in spite of [gestures] all of this.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:10 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]

It is a lovely day for a virtual music festival, and you are a horrible goose.
posted by delfin at 12:16 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]

Aw, yeah, HONK!
posted by clew at 1:21 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]

Hooray! I got to attend some HONK events a couple of years ago and it gave me a lot of hope when I was in despair.
posted by rednikki at 4:49 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]

I went to Wollongong 2020 with Riff Raff Radical Marching Band - there's some photos on there of me looking surly with my flute.
posted by solarion at 7:18 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]

PRONK is one of my favorite things about living in Providence; they saw the covid writing on the wall and called off the full-scale event way early, like back in May. Won't be the same this year for sure but glad there's a few social distancing events to keep it alive.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:01 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]

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