Monday, Oct 05, 2020 8:00p -
Sunday, Oct 11, 2020 9:00p
HONK!United (accessed online), c/o HONK! Festival Headquarters
Somerville, MA 02144
Festivals & Fairs, Kid Friendly, Music, Performing Arts, Social Good, Virtual & Streaming
Due to an overwhelming response from prospective participants, HONK!United, a virtual worldwide rally for activist street bands, has found it necessary to extend HONK!United’s schedule to now cover 7 days, rather than the original 2. So many bands, organizations, and individuals -- all part of the extensive HONK! community -- are very eager to be involved during the October 5-11 time-frame. For timely updates, visit the official HONK!United website: honkunited.org.
As of this writing, the current participation number includes 76 bands (many USA-based, plus groups from Moscow, Antarctica, Rome, Uganda, Perth, Rio, Berlin, etc.), 10 submissions from various HONK! Festivals (their on-site locations include London, Seattle, Ontario, Austin, NYC, etc.), and 2 large regional proposals (as in, the state of Colorado and the city of New Orleans).
“I hope you take the time to appreciate the talent, the effort, and the community spirit that has brought you to HONK! virtually. So to HONK!, I just can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year. Thank you, because we’ve never needed you more!” (Mayor Joe Curtatone, Somerville, MA, USA)
So, what is HONK!United exactly? It is this year’s necessary online solution, in order to sustain and move forward a now 15-year worldwide movement, one that was first established as the HONK! Festival of activist street bands in Somerville, MA (USA) in 2006.
That first year in Somerville started out as a modest on-site gathering, consisting of 12 unplugged outdoor street bands, mostly local. It was thought of as being more of a home-spun rally, organized by like-minded raucous musical spirits, who all were (and still are) bound and determined to actively make the world a better and more peaceful place, by playing music in the streets to affect social change.
From those humble HONK! beginings, a huge ripple effect was launched, with similar on-site HONK!s taking hold in many worldwide spots. The HONK! camaraderie is contagious and the networking is vast and vibrant. So much so, that in 2019, over 20 annual on-site HONK! festivals took place, in locations spread over 4 continents. And last year, those humble Somerville HONK! organizers hosted their 14th annual festival, with 25 plus bands, hailing from as near as Somerville, and as far flung as Berlin, Belo Horizonte (BR), Chicago, Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Madison (Wis.).
Fast forward to 2020, to the 6th annual HONK! Oz, held on-site in Wollongong, Australia, who were fortunate enough to hold their annual gathering in mid-January. And then? Crickets for the rest of this year? Not a chance, because when it comes to the now vast network of HONK! affiliates, all eager to still gather and share their united musical energies, particularly in this year of years, any method used to convene is just fine.
And ironically enough, those HONK! bands who have never been in a position to physically travel to an organized on-site HONK! Festival can now attend one, and enjoy the very satisfying exchange of music, stories, and solutions, that come about during every HONK!
The HONK!United organizers, based in Somerville, MA (USA), have developed and expanded the upcoming online HONK! experience, that not only can accommodate a large number of musical participants, either pre-recorded or streamed live, but will also allow for participation in a variety of online HONK! workshops (most of which will be open to the public).
HONK!United’s statement of purpose can be found specifically at honkunited.org/about/. It ends with: “Together we are HONK!United.” Indeed.