As the temperature topped ninety degrees on Sunday, crowds gathered on the banks of the East River for the final event of Jelly NYC’s Pool Party concert series in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Perhaps the final concert, due to an ongoing battle between promoter, Jelly NYC, and the authorities in charge of the parks, it still provided those in attendance with plenty of entertainment and relaxation.
Delorean and Dominique Young Unique opened for surprise headliners DMC, Doug E. Fresh, and the Cool Kids. Attendees danced between sets, where one song selection ranged from “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes and a cut from Big Boi’s new record. DMC schooled the crowd on the good old days persuading them to raise their arms and channel their inner early-90s. At one point Andrew W.K. joined DMC to back him on the electric piano.
Most of those in attendance at East River State Park were young, hip adults along with a few families. Hipsters enjoyed sponsor-organized dodge ball and children made their own fun on a nearby playground. Sponsors also provided a hydration tent with free samples of Vitamin Water and some large water-misting fans. Food options included corn on the cob, pizza and tacos. Beer, wine and energy drinks were also readily available, along with free packets of caffeinated gum.
Senator Charles Schumer made his way onstage at one point, thanking the crowd for making his hometown of Brooklyn the “hippest place on Earth.” The fate of the concert had been up in the air due to a dispute between the Open Space Alliance and Jelly NYC. Schumer was directly involved in the negotiation proceedings along with state bureaucrats and concert promoters. Some vendors expressed displeasure with the location of the event. Regulations are much stricter for state parks than for city parks, which raised questions of logistics for vendors. With the fate of the concert series up in the air, however, such problems may no longer matter. But most of those in attendance were saddened by the prospect of no more concerts.
“This is the kind of thing that should happen everyday,” said concertgoer Tal Hirshberg.
The New York Times reported that attendance has been down this summer in comparison to past years. The decision to withhold the names of the headliners may have discouraged some from attending and the high temperature certainly didn’t help.
But even those working found time to enjoy the day.
“I was born and raised off them, man,” said Keith Marcus of Crown Heights, in reference to hip-hop group Run DMC.
Others knew nothing of the event. 35-year-old Susan Phuvasitkul came to the Waterfront for the first time with friends.
Joel Berg, who brought his children, said, “If it’s good enough for Senator Schumer, it’s good enough for me.”
Photo by Felipe Cabrera