Here's Everything You Need To See at Kingston's O+ Festival
These are all the musicians, murals, and wellness workshops you should be catching this weekend.
Photo Provided by O+ Festival
Now in its ninth year, Kingston’s landmark O+ Festival brings attention to the nexus of art, music, and wellbeing. Participating artists are given free health care by local practitioners, in addition to a platform on world-class performances stages. This guide can be split into three parts: music, art, and wellness.
15 Bands to Catch
Friday October 5
9:30-10:30 p.m., BSP Back Room
This veteran Malian guitarist played backup to Ali Farka Toure for years. On his solo releases, Kelly blends the Bamako region’s famous ‘desert blues’ with classic American sounds, incorporating the pedal steel of Cindy Cashdollar and Woodstock local Pete Levin’s keys.
8:30-9:15 p.m., BSP Back Room
This table-and-harmonium duo, though young, has been trained by some of India’s foremost maestros of the form.
10-10:45 p.m., Old Dutch Church (encore Saturday 1-1:45 p.m.)
The local university-trained jazz guitarist received an Arts Mid Hudson grant for his orchestral composition, which incorporates interviews with Ulster county residents in manners both abstract and concrete.
Key of Q
9:30-10:15 p.m., Keegan Ales
This a cappella group recruits LGBTQ residents of the Hudson Valley for uplifting takes on traditional four-part harmony, performing secular music that deals with equality and love.
8-8:45 p.m., The Beverly
A lo-fi, home recorded indie-jazz band based out of New Paltz. Turns way, way up when out of the bedroom.
Saturday October 6
Hiding Behind Sound
9:30-10:15 p.m., BSP Front Room
Sammi Niss is a local legend, having drummed behind many of the HV’s greatest bands – hence her moniker. But on 2018’s Words Escape, Niss proved she’s also one of the area’s best songwriters. With an all-star backing band.
9-9:45 p.m., The Beverly
Woodstock-area Soundcloud rapper, with plenty of dye in his hair but no face tattoos (yet). Supporting his album Heatwave.
11:30 p.m., The Beverly
Heavy, plodding riffs with howled vocals and plenty of fuzz, in the style of Mastodon and Clutch.
11:30 p.m., BSP Back Room
If you love nerdcore, you can thank MC Chris; if you hate it, ditto. If you don’t know what that means, show up to his headlining set and find out.
7-7:45 p.m., Old Dutch Church
Mixture of fingerstyle guitar and soulful songwriting.
Sunday October 7
7-7:45 p.m., BSP Front Room
“Progressive cartoon rock,” with sprightly drums, walls of synthesizers and soulful vocals.
6-7:30 p.m., BSP Back Room
This rock orchestra live scores its own creative reinterpretations of classic scores. Will be performing alongside Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog.
6:30-7:30 p.m., The Beverly
Jazz experimentation and improvisation with musicians Karl Berger, Christopher Berger, and Billy Martin, as well as secret guests.
6:30-7:15 p.m., Stockade Tavern
Mix the creeping glide of classic slowcore groups and the heavy flange of their 80s forebears in bands like Coil. Local heroes and one of the top bands in the Valley.
4-4:45 p.m., Stockade Tavern
Folk, rock, you get the picture. Hints of Randy Newman and Dylan.
As part of O+’s focus on combining art, music, and well-being, the following (mostly) local artists have been allotted building-scale canvases to express their unique visions. Previous iterations of the festival have come in for criticism for the choice of murals, so who knows about 2018? The artists will be painting at the following locations:
boogieREZ at Eddy’s, 742 Broadway
Photo provided by O+ Festival
Eddy’s Restaurant, 742 Broadway
Samantha French / Aaron Hauck
Keegan Ales, 20 Saint James St
Lucinda Yrene Honojos aka La Morena
Lite Brite Neon, 26 Downs St
Jess X. Snow and Layqa Nuna Yawar with Tani Ikeda for Survivor Love Letter
Photo provided by O+ Festival
Survivor Love Letter
Family of Woodstock Darmstadt Shelter, 40 Thomas St
Dina Kravtsov / Mat Schulze
Radio Kingston Annex, 693 Broadway
Citizens Bank Building, 273 Wall St
Anne Hebard School of Ballet, 795 Broadway
Wellness Guide: 5 Workshops at the Kirkland
Friday, 7-9 p.m.
Taught by HariPrakaash. Breathwork and meditation, all focused around the “Sound Currents of the Gong.”
Activism, Hope and Self-Care
Saturday, 4-5 p.m.
Jessica Robie demonstrates how activists can use the causes that matter to them to “as a path to health and wellness,” with discussion of the NY Health Act and universal health care initiatives.
Self-Hypnosis for Stress & Anxiety
Saturday, 1-2 p.m.
Hypnotherapist David Rinaldi leads a 30-minute group therapy session followed by a Q&A so that participants can learn about what hypnosis is and how it works.
Sunday, 10-11 a.m.
Instructor Chris Brandon Whitaker provides a guided meditation in the Three Treasures Qigong form.
Sunday, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Patrice Heber leads this gentle yoga session that combines light spinal movement with napping to nourish the nervous system.