It’s been 40 years since Hilly Kristal opened Country BlueGrass and Blues or, as it’s better known, CBGB. While the legendary club that birthed the U.S. punk scene, and also presented artists spanning folk to hardcore, was shuttered in 2006, its spirit lives on with the CBGB Music and Film Festival, which runs through Oct. 13 at more than 175 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
With a goal to be New York's largest showcase of music, film, art, social awareness, workshops and conferences, the promoters have scheduled 700 artists, 100 screenings of music-oriented films and 120 speakers.
“CBGB has always been about live music,” said CBGB co-owner Tim Hayes. “A large music festival is the best way to bring musicians, film makers, entertainment industry professionals and fans together.”
The music showcases present dozens of emerging acts plus established artists, many with personal connections to the venue. The lineup includes Tuff Darts, Lenny Kaye, Richard Lloyd, Cheetah Chrome, Ivan Kral, Arto Lindsay, Genya Raven, Ginger Baker, Ice-T, Meat Puppets, Pat Dinizio (of the Smithereens), Syl Sylvain, Atlas Genius, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Lisa Loeb, Nicole Atkins, Bell XI, Jesse Malin, Murphy’s Law, Drugstore, John Sinclair and Toby Lightman.
Over two dozen acts will also perform during a free event on Oct. 12 in Times Square. That lineup includes My Morning Jacket, The Wallflowers, Grizzly Bear, James Murphy DJ set, Divine Fits, Meat Puppets and Lisa Loeb.
The film festival offers the U.S. premiere of “CBGB,” based on the club’s early punk days. It features
“The CBGB Film Festival is positioned to be the leading rock and roll film festival in the country,” said CBGB co-owner Joe D’Urso. “No other major film festival in the country focuses exclusively on music-themed movies on this scale. There is a ton of great music films out there and the field is really exploding right now.”
Other highly-anticipated screenings include "Broadway Idiot," on the move of Green Day’s “American Idiot” from concept album to stage, and “The Death and Resurrection Show” on the turbulent 30 year career of Killing Joke.
Today, “CBGB: Original Motion Soundtrack,” came out in standard and deluxe versions digitally on Rhino records and on CD and double-LP, with a limited edition first pressing on translucent pink vinyl, on Omnivore Recordings. The album compiles tracks that defined the blossoming punk and new wave movements including songs by Talking Heads, Blondie, Dead Boys, Television, Wayne County and The Dictators.
The festival’s Keynote Addresses find Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) offering the musical side while Van Toffler, President of Viacom’s Music and Logo Group (MTV, MTV2, CMT, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia and CMT Pure) gives his take on the state of the music industry in 2013.
Both take place among a historical setting at the fest’s main location, the Landmark Sunshine Theater. The original CBGB walls and sound system, which were carefully dismantled when Kristal was evicted from the venue’s location, will be on hand for this event.
For more on CBGB Music & Film Festival, visit, www.cbgb.com.