CBGB Summer Festival Details Announced

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 at 8:45 am by

CBGB made front-page headlines earlier this year thanks to its current comeback efforts. Back in January, word broke that the legendary club (nay, the brand) was seeking a new venue of operations someplace in Manhattan. Whereabouts unknown. Many celebrated the reboot; purists scoffed.

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Just as soon as the blockbuster story hit the wire, we uncovered plans for an ambitious CBGB summer festival. Today, the New York Times has the scoop on the four-day event, which will feature film screenings and performances by some 300 bands in already-established venues around the city.

The four-day festival is scheduled to begin on July 5 and will showcase about 300 rock bands. Concerts will take place at around 30 places, from large stages like Central Park Summerstage and Webster Hall to small clubs like the Trash Bar in Williamsburg and the Living Room on the Lower East Side.

The Cro-Mags, Vision of Disorder and Sick of It All will headline a hardcore show at Webster Hall, organizers said. The festival will also stage a free concert in Central Park with Guided by Voices, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Cloud Nothings. A few veteran rockers have agreed to appear: David Johansen, a former member of the New York Dolls, has committed to do a show, as has the Baseball Project, the supergroup formed by Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate.

And regarding the protracted dispute over ownership of the CBGB estate…

But the rights to the club’s assets and its famous trademark, which is worth millions, became mired in legal disputes after Mr. Kristal’s death. Shortly before he died, Mr. Kristal had negotiated a deal to sell the club’s assets to two entrepreneurs, James Blueweiss and Robert Williams. They bought the rights from his estate in May 2008 but then declared bankruptcy two years later. Under Ms. Burgman’s direction, the estate sued to reclaim the club’s assets. Complicating matters, Mr. Kristal’s former wife, Karen Kristal, also filed suit, disputing the sale, saying she had been the rightful owner of the business.

By October 2010, both legal battles had been settled, and Ms. Burgman ended up in control of not only the club’s famous logo, but also its memorabilia and its grubby interior furnishings. Several would-be buyers approached her, she said.

How do you feel about these attempts to make CBGB more like a SXSW type deal?


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