The Fifth HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands

A revolutionary street spectacle converging for the fifth time in Davis Square

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Oct 08, 2010 12:00 AM
Oct 10, 2010 12:00 AM


Davis Square, Somerville, MA

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Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band is emerging. Acoustic and mobile, borrowing repertoire and inspiration from a diverse set of folk music traditions – New Orleans second line brass bands, European Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Afro Bloc and Frevo traditions, as well as the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival– these “honkers” all share a commitment to several core principles. Metaphorically speaking, they honk their horns for the same reasons motorists honk theirs: to arouse fellow travelers, to warn of danger, to celebrate milestones, and to just plain have fun.

The HONK! Festival is a grassroots, non-profit event made possible by the financial and in-kind support of a thousand local residents and businesses. For the duration of the Festival, more than 350 musicians will be housed by generous neighbors and friends and many local restaurants will generously provide food for the performers and volunteers. Scores of community members have donated hours of labor to make HONK! possible. Most significantly, none of the bands will be earning any money for the festival, and most will have only some of their travel expenses covered. The bands are inspired to travel great distances, at great personal expense, to joyously celebrate our hard work to reclaim public space—the world over—for all people. The bands long to connect in honor of our struggles for justice. We hope you will come, to connect and celebrate with us, and further the cause of freedom, justice and collective emancipation.

Just a taste of the bands playing-

  • AfroBrazil
  • The Bahamas Junkanoo Jumpers
  • Banda Roncati
  • The Barrage Band Orchestra
  • Black Bear Combo
  • Brass Liberation Orchestra
  • The Bread and Puppet Circus Band
  • Ca!ka Thunder
  • The Carnival Band
Plus so much more!

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