Weekend 10.5-10.7: Make Some Noise at Honk! Fest

Somerville is getting loud this weekend as the seventh annual Honk! festival of activist street bands descends on the city for three days of musical performances. From parades and neighborhood jam sessions to a free hours-long outdoor show in Davis Square and a Harvard Square Oktoberfest performance, the music rarely stops during the next three days around town.

Photo by Allison Mowrer courtesy of Honk!

Bands are coming to Honk! from far and wide–places like Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Madison, Wisconsin–as well as closer to home, with some bands originating right here in Somerville. Honk! bands make their music to enliven audiences (often recruiting new members right off the street!), protest violence and oppression and celebrate causes they care about, like multi-cultural and peace festivals. Join them this weekend as they spread their message throughout Somerville.

Kick off your Honk! experience today by attending band performances in the neighborhoods around Somerville from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Then attend the lantern parade in the Davis Square area near Hodgkins Park (Holland Street and Simpson Avenue). This sidewalk procession will be accompanied by brass bands and paraders with paper lanterns or other forms of D.I.Y. lighting.

Johnny D’s (17 Holland St.) is hosting the official Honk! kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday with a show that features bands like the Brass Messengers from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Pink Puffers Brass Band from Rome, Italy. The 21+ show is $12 at the door.

On Saturday, the Honk! opening ceremonies will commence at Seven Hills Park in Davis at 12:30 p.m. Then more than 30 activist street bands will perform outdoors for free until 9 p.m.

Photo by Jesse Edsell-Vetter courtesy of Honk!

And the fun doesn’t stop on Sunday. The Honk! Parade to Reclaim the Streets for Horns, Bikes and Feet takes place from noon-2 p.m. as it winds its way from Davis to Harvard for Oktoberfest. The parade will travel down Elm Street to Beech Street then to Mass. Ave.

After arriving in Harvard, the Honk! bands will perform at Oktoberfest from 2:15 p.m.-6 p.m. The festivities wrap up on Sunday night from 8 p.m.-midnight with the Honk! All-Band Blowout Concert at Sanders Theatre (45 Quincy St., Cambridge). Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and will be available at the Honk! merchandise booth during the festival (cash only) or at the door (credit cards accepted).

You can find more information about Honk!, including a full list of bands and a detailed schedule, by clicking here. I won’t be in town this weekend, but if you go to Honk!, send the Beat your photos (editor@somervillebeat.com) and I’ll post them on our Facebook page!

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