Six Lessons From Catalpa New York, In GIF Form

Categories: Catalpa NYC

Over the weekend, Catalpa Fest came to Randall's Island in an attempt to become the New York music festival. Festivals are, by nature, learning experiences (Because if you aren't learning anything, why the hell are you subjecting yourself to a festival?). We've documented a series of important lessons we learned from the weekend. Take these to heart, they may save your life one day. [All GIFs by Loren Wohl]

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Live: Catalpa Offers A Little Bit Of Everything To The Soggy Masses At Randall's Island

Snoop Dogg at Catalpa.
PHOTOS: Sunday at Catalpa

Catalpa NYC: Snoop Dogg, Black Keys, Matt & Kim, Matisyahu, A$AP Rocky, Hercules & Love Affair, TV On The Radio, Girl Talk, et al.
Randall's Island
Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29

Better than: Arguing over an iPod's shuffle function.

Music festivals without a historical following or a known brand identity can employ many strategies in their inaugural year, one of which is "Appeal to as many prospective demographics as possible." Catalpa NYC, which debuted this weekend at Randall's Island, decided to combat this problem by throwing together a bunch of popular-ish acts and some quirky attractions—art, fire, a chance to "elope" with a fellow Snoop Dogg fan.

Results were mixed; the lineup succeeded in having a broad appeal, but lacked a coherent musical aesthetic. Many of the non-musical attractions were spoiled by rain on Saturday and, faced with the prospect of surviving on its artists alone, Catalpa became a referendum on its performers' current positions within the musical landscape. Many attendees claimed to like "everything," so Catalpa became a chance to find out what the new "everything" is.

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A SOTC Flowchart: Should You Get Married In Catalpa's Church Of Sham Marriages This Weekend?

via Catalpa NYC
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to get married in a sorta-bouncy castle.
"We have the Frisky's Church of Sham Marriages going in, which is a 60 foot inflatable church, and we have a pimp pastor marrying people. We actually have two couples getting legitimately married at the festival - the wedding dress, the whole family coming in. I'm trying to get Snoop Dogg to actually do the marriage. That'd be ridiculous, right? It's elements like that. Of course you had a great time seeing the Black Keys, but you're going to talk for a lot longer about the day you saw the Black Keys and got married to some random person."
Catalpa founder Dave Moran on one of the attractions at this weekend's inaugural Catalpa NYC festival. Should you take the plunge and make The Most Important Day Of Your Life an outing at Randalls Island where you could conceivably get hitched by a fake pimp/Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion/a member of Umphrey's McGee? With candy rings and everything? A flowchart to walk you through the decision-making process below.

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Catalpa NYC: The Latest Addition To New York City's Increasingly Crowded Summer-Festival Docket

The Black Keys.
The Black Keys and Snoop Dogg are set to headline the brand-new New York area music festival Catalpa NYC, which is scheduled to take place at Randalls Island July 28 and 29. Tickets are on sale now and just under $100, with VIP packages starting at $239.99 (a ferry to and from Randall's Island costs $35). Putting on a festival in this area has been tricky work in recent years—remember Escape To New York and MTK?—and I wonder how the relatively new, Dublin-based promotion company Frisky will make its offerings stand out in a market that's crowded not just with a full complement of club shows, but with free concerts in many of the city's open-air spaces. Will non-musical attractions like Frisky's Inflatable Church Of Sham Marriages ("to ensure that any sudden urges for marriage proposals (sham or legitimate) during Catalpa can be dealt with on the spot!") or a reggae stage co-sponsored by High Times be enough to get people to pay up?

Below, the lineup, which according to the site seems to be currently dominated by dudes looking ponderous while wearing large glasses:

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