Text by globalFEST
globalFEST (gF) began as a creatively curated bright spot for global music lovers in the dark days of early January in NYC. Over its first decade, gF’s groundbreaking annual 3‐stage, 12‐band world music showcase/festival has become one of the most catalytic world music events in North America and the premier gateway event for emerging and established artists from around the world.
globalFEST is also a party, turning winter doldrums into a multi-continent romp at one of downtown New York’s most historic venues, spotlighting artists who represent diverse global styles, ranging from traditional and folk to hybrid acts that incorporate classical, rock, jazz, electronic dance music and hip‐hop. Since 2003, gF has provided more than one hundred groups from around the world access to stages across North America. globalFEST is committed to keeping ticket prices low – with no increase in the past decade – to encourage festival-goers to explore new and unfamiliar sounds and discover new favorites.
The last six months have marked milestones in both organizational and programmatic development for globalFEST. Now an independent 501c3 non-profit organization, gF has grown from an annual showcase/festival into a year‐round resource for cultural curators, global music artists, and the live music industry as a whole.
The launch of globalFEST’s Touring Fund (gFTF) offers competitive grant opportunities to all tour‐ready gF alumni artists. gFTF is an innovative program designed to encourage cultural exchange by offsetting the high cost of touring in the U.S., and to encourage performances in new, underserved markets.
globalFEST has also expanded its presentations outside of NY. In Spring 2012, globalFEST brought its curatorial vision to stages at SXSW, the country’s most influential independent music conference and festival and at Bonnaroo, one of the country’s most beloved festivals. gF artists performed alongside Radiohead, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fun, Questlove, Bon Iver, and St. Vincent. Through these events, gF and the participating artists garnered national coverage in such media as SPIN magazine, The New York Times and the Austin‐Statesman.
This September, globalFEST presents events on two continents: including a day-long showcase of eight New York-based diaspora artists at Paris’Festival d’île de France, and collaboration between Debo Band and Forro in the Dark with the legendary Joshua Light Show at NYU’s Skirball Center
gF is now planning for its next phase of development providing expanded service for the performing arts field in general and the world music field in particular. It is uniquely positioned to have impact on the entire live music industry—in NYC and beyond.
The festival directors, Bill Bragin of Acidophilus: Live & Active Cultures, Isabel Soffer of Live Sounds and Shanta Thake of Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater- along with a dedicated cadre of volunteers – produce this highly anticipated event on an entirely unpaid basis.
We rely on the generosity of our Kickstarter supporters to help make all these ambitious programs possible, and we thank you! Please give as much as you can, and help spread the word!