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CBGB Returns as Festival in New York

300 bands scheduled; new owners consider reopening club

The original CBGB's location at 315 Bowery
Scott Gries/Getty Images
May 8, 2012 12:05 PM ET

After purchasing the assets for the legendary, defunct New York City rock club CBGB, the entity's new owners are planning a massive city-wide music festival this summer and considering the possibility of reopening the club at a new location down the road, the New York Times reports

The CBGB Festival, set to run from July 5th to 8th, will include 300 bands at 30 locations across New York, from Central Park's Summerstage to the Highline Ballroom to clubs like Lit Lounge. The original CBGB closed in 2006

"We’re trying to continue the idea of supporting live music, making a lot of noise and being a part of New York City,"  Tim Hayes, one of the investors, told the Times. "The festival is one way we can do it. Eventually the club will be another way we can do it."

The festival will feature a free show on July 7th at Summerstage with headliners Guided By Voices and openers the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Cloud Nothings. Other groups set to play include the Baseball Project (a supergroup started by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn), Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, New York Dolls member David Johansen and hardcore heroes Cro-Mags.

"We want to make room for some of the legends that came from CBGB, but the primary focus is to support new music," Hayes said. Starting in the late Seventies, CBGB famously gave a stage to bourgeoning punk acts like the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, Talking Heads and countless others.

The festival will also include films, with screenings of 30 classic and new rock films and documentaries on five screens over the course of two days. There will also be a conference with panels and talks from songwriters, publishers, record label employees, promoters, journalists and more. To top it all off, there will also be a "spirits fest," which will celebrate artisan whiskey distillers. 

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