This weekend I supplemented the completion of my first major assignment for school with attendance at the Honk! Festival in Somerville. Honk! is a festival of activist street bands from around the country, held annually in Davis Square in Somerville. On Friday, bands played in bars and other venues around the city (I didn’t see any that day). Saturday is the main day, with bands playing from noon until 9pm in hour-long blocks at six venues in and around Davis. Sunday there was a parade down from Davis Square to Harvard Square (which I missed because I was writing a paper), followed by a concert in the evening at the Somerville Theater back in Davis. The whole thing was spectacular, with wonderful weather. I knew I had a friend in the Rude Mechanical Orchestra from Brooklyn, but turns out one of my classmates is also in Factory Seconds from Somerville. I saw numerous friends from all areas of life wandering through Saturday’s crowds, enjoying the raw energy and cacophonous brass & drums throughout the day. Some of my favorite experiences were with What Cheer? from Providence and Minor Mishap of Austin, TX, watching from a tree as the Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band performed at the opening ceremonies, and dancing with my classmates in a packed crowd to the Rude Mechanical Orchestra. I also enjoyed Extraordinary Rendition, also of Providence. I want to learn trumpet or trombone now!
I greatly enjoyed the festival, and am interested in getting more involved next year. One of the friends I saw meandering through the crowd was not only volunteering, but was hosting one of the bands at her house. Sounds like fun!