This weekend, the Creators Project will descend upon Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood for a free two-day festival that will feature performances by Florence + the Machine, Justice, Four Tet, and Atlas Sound, as well as larger-than-life visual art installations, film screenings, panels, and the debut of Karen O's new "psycho" opera, "Stop the Virgens."
The Creators Project, a partnership between VICE and Intel, organizes events and performances that aim to unite artists' creative visions with the high-end, eye-popping technology that will allow those visions to be realized.
"Stop the Virgens," directed by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp and described by its creators as "an assault on the tragic joys of youth," is the only paid event of the weekend. Both nights' 700-seat screenings have already sold out.
This weekend's events will constitute the first festival ever hosted by the initiative.
"No one at VICE has ever done something like what we're doing this weekend," says VICE general manager Hosi Simon. Simon is the head organizer for Creators Project events worldwide, which have taken place in cities like Paris, Seoul, and Beijing. "[We] don't know what this is going to be like, but it's working out."
Creators Project events have often been highly exclusive, requiring an invitation, guest list slot, or ticket to get in. Perhaps their most visible event, a partnership with Coachella earlier this year (where artists like Arcade Fire, Spiritualized and Animal Collective teamed up respectively with visual artists Chris Milk, Jonathan Glazer, and Black Dice to couple the bands' sets with gargantuan light installations) was visible only to festival-goers who shelled out a couple hundred bucks for the weekend.
Think of this weekend's events as the democratization of the Creators Project.
Why make it free? "Because we can," says Simon simply. "We're trying very hard to move away from the idea that we're pandering to the same old in-crowd, with the invitations, guest lists. We want to avoid all of that and make it open to everyone, to as many people as we can accommodate."
Organizers expect anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 attendees on both Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to outdoor streetside performances, DUMBO warehouses like Tobacco Warehouse, St. Anne's Warehouse, and Powerhouse Arena will house the weekends' events. Other attractions include multimedia pieces by David Bowie, United Visual Artists, Black Dice, and Animal Collective.
Festival fare will be provided by Brooklyn Flea, with whom Simon and other VICE folks are "long-time friends."
"It's a family affair," he says.
Naming other tech-savvy festivals like Barcelona's Sónar and Montréal's Mutek, Simon explains VICE and Intel's desire to bring that combination of community and multimedia to NYC.
"It's really meant to be a cultural festival that feels a part of the city," he explains. "New York doesn't have festivals like this, on [this] level, where we're taking over a whole neighborhood. [This city]--and, I would say, the world--needs more events like this."
And as if New Yorkers needed more reasons to RSVP, he says that there may be some secret dealings in the works.
Hints Simon, "There might be a few surprise appearances."