Oh what a magical three summers it’s been at the McCarren Park Pool. At a gaping capacity upwards of 7,000, the Brooklyn Parks Department opened up the once world’s largest public pool to host movies, the performing arts and of course, concerts. And while there have been some great concerts there during the week or in the evenings, its JellyNYC’s Sunday Pool Parties that undoubtedly “made” the pool what it is.
By giving the cultural epicenter of the United States a huge arena to showcase the best in independent talent – for free no less (hint Live Nation and Bowery Presents) – they proved how big our “underground” scene could be if given the chance. It might seem like a stretch to give them full marks, but consider that there was a definite shift in the way promoters booked the other free venues around New York City and it could be argued that it happened after the first year of the Pool Parties. Whereas fading supergroups or major label studs were the norm at places like Central Park Summer Stage and the South Street Sea Port, the last two years have seen bands like High Places, Battles, Black Dice, Dirty Projectors and a host of other indie darlings playing these once foreboding stages. You may call it a coincidence, I call it trend setting.
Now, with the Parks Department set on re-developing and opening the pool as, well, a pool again, it is with a bit of sadness that I have to report the last Pool Parties. Sure, the Jelly folks have promised to relocate next year, and possibly even take it national, but will it ever be the same? What started as our little secret and exploded into a nationally recognized party came to a conclusion this past Sunday, Aug 24th with a show stopping (literally) performance by indie stalwarts Yo La Tengo and newcomers Titus Andronicus and Ebony Bones. Here are a few photos by Amy Davidson to recap.
[another packed pool]
[Yo La Tengo]