Photo: Fadi Kheir
Bryant Park Picnic Performances
Emerging Music Festival
Curated by AdHoc
First-Come, First-Served Entry
All Bryant Park Picnic Performances Are FREE
Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America season of free, live performances this summer continues with the AdHoc-curated Emerging Music Festival, featuring six up-and-coming bands performing on one of the biggest stages of their careers. The festival returns for the first time since 2019 on June 24–25 with thousands of music lovers packing the Bryant Park lawn for New York’s best new music. The opening night on June 24 includes singer-songwriter Benét, eccentric country from Dougie Poole, and DIY pop songs with Daneshevskaya. Closing night on June 25 features high-octane rock from 95 Bulls, multi-hyphenate creator and musician Talia Goddess, and Afro-Mexican tropicalia with Reyna Tropical.
Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At most performances, attendees can purchase food from a rotating line-up of local NYC vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are not currently required but Bryant Park will continue to monitor and follow updated New York City and New York State COVID-19 guidelines throughout the summer as necessary.
Benét, Dougie Poole, and Daneshevskaya
Benét (Benét Nutall) is a singer-songwriter based in Richmond, VA. Raised in a musically inclined family, Benét‘s ear for melody is finely tuned. “My mom would always say ‘Don’t sing my part’” Benét says. “I had to come up with another line when singing together.” Being challenged vocally, Benét’s writing formed an incredible sense of harmony out of necessity. Beyond clear vocal talent, Benét’s vulnerable lyrics continue to pursue the audience long after the first play. From a young age, Benét was drawn to creative means of expression, immersing themselves in their local scene and dipping their toes in mediums across the board. Fast forward to 21-years-old, Benét is acutely aware of the ways their upbringing, both in Virginia and on the Internet have impacted their music. Social media has not only informed the way they create, but who they create with. Connecting with artists online has allowed them to expand their musical bounds, and make friends along the way. Previous releases from Benét include “Stan Account,” a double single released last year with Richmond-imprint, Citrus City.
Brooklyn’s Dougie Poole puts his eccentric stamp on country music, melding eerie D.I.Y. bedroom pop textures with a love for classic honky tonk and lonesome, earthy songwriting. His self-released, home-recorded debut, Wideass Highway, earned him a contract with Wharf Cat Records, which issued his more expansive follow-up, The Freelancer’s Blues, in 2020. Originally based in Providence, Rhode Island, Poole moved to Brooklyn and immersed himself in New York’s indie underground, pairing his old-school country influences with synth pop and experimental music. Crooning in a low baritone over drum machines, steel guitar, and ambient synths, he established a sort of bedroom country vibe with his 2016 Olneyville System Special EP, then doubled down on the atmospheric approach for his 2017 debut, Wideass Highway. Earning plaudits for crafting modern country music for a young genre-averse urban crowd, Poole shared shows with eclectic acts like Jerry Paper, Bong Wish, and Drugdealer, guesting on the latter’s 2019’s album Raw Honey. After signing with New York indie Wharf Cat, he recorded his 2020 sophomore album, The Freelancer’s Blues, which featured a full band and tonally leaned more toward the organic side of country music.
Under her alias Daneshevskaya, Anna Beckerman writes tough-minded, tender-hearted songs about saying fond farewells. These aren’t necessarily breakup anthems. Some might be addressed to a lover, but most are about friends and acquaintances, those people whose lives intersect briefly with yours before they follow their own paths elsewhere. Bury Your Horses, her debut EP, locates meaning in these absences and finds hard-won contentment with dwindling memories left behind. “Thank you for leaving, you have no idea how much fun it’s been,” she sings on “Right About It,” her voice mournful but forceful as an acoustic guitar subtly mimics the rhythm of a racing heart.
95 Bulls, Talia Goddess, Reyna Tropical
In the quarantined summer of 2020, 95 Bulls was formed by five friends from different bands (Ashjesus, The Mystery Lights, Smock, Bipolar, and Jelly Kelly) pretty much by accident. They all wanted to make music for fun while their bandmates were scattered but with two pennies to their name, they fell in love, and decided it was best to write a record and get married. The accidental turned purposeful rock and roll band has shared bills with Wavves, Sheer Mag, Dirty Fences, and Sunflower Bean to name a few and look forward to their debut record release in June 2022.
19-year-old Tayahna Walcott (Talia Goddess) is a multi-hyphenate artist and creator from Brooklyn, New York with Guyanese and British roots. She merges her many talents as a self-taught singer-songwriter, rapper, music, producer, DJ, model, multi-instrumentalist, creative entrepreneur, and community leader to galvanize the next generation of creatives and push culture forward. Since the early age of six, she has been engaged in the arts, using her talents to express herself and bring people of all walks of life together. Recently, Talia graduated Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, started her record label and creative agency TRANCE, and collaborated with several world-renown publications and brands such as Vogue, Wonderland, Refinery29, Nike, Dazed, Tommy Hilfiger, MCM, i-D, Converse, AWAKE NY, and MCM.
Reyna Tropical are composed of Mexican expats Fabiola Reyna and Sumohair. The duo met as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s Bass Camp at Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2017, chosen as two of 20 up-and-coming producers and musicians from around the country. It was there that they bonded over their love for the tropical diaspora and began experimenting with their unique writing process: a process inclusive of pure improvisation consisting of a four hour session per song aimed at capturing the moment and the environment. Today, Reyna Tropical merges their passion for social justice and community organizing with the space and opportunities that they can create through their music. As the bands tagline, “Queer Love & Afro-Mexico” is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to issues connected to the environment, inclusive of Indigenous rights, Afro-Mexican rights, missing and murdered indigenous women, and the many injustices that live in and in between the spectrum of Queer Love & Afro-Mexico. With the continued support of artists such as Bomba Estéreo, Lido Pimienta, Portugal The Man, and Y La Bamba, Reyna Tropical has also been recognized by Remezcla (Reyna Tropical: A Queer Love Revolution), Grimy Goods (Reyna Tropical Pay Tribute To The World’s Bodies Of Water And Life On Sublime New Ep Sol Y Lluvia), and NPR’s 2022 artists to watch.
Complete Bryant Park Picnic Performances Line Listings
May 27: New York City Opera: The Barber of Seville
June 3: Contemporary Dance: AThomasProject and Ephrat Asherie Dance
June 4: Contemporary Dance: Ariel Rivka Dance and The Missing Element
June 10: Contemporary Dance: EMERGE125 and Ayodele Casel
June 11: Contemporary Dance: Ballet Hispánico’s Social Latin Dance Class, Music From The Sole, and Dance Heginbotham
June 17: New York City Opera: Pride in the Park
June 24: Emerging Music Festival curated by AdHoc – Benét, Dougie Poole, and Daneshevskaya
June 25: Emerging Music Festival curated by AdHoc – 95 Bulls, Talia Goddess, and Reyna Tropical
July 1: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
July 8: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Baylor Project
July 15: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Squirrel Nut Zippers
July 22: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Broadway Sinfonietta
July 23: Jazzmobile: Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band
July 28: Performers TBA
July 29: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Hot Sardines Featuring Nellie McKay
August 5: Performers TBA
August 12: New York City Opera: La traviata
August 19: Asian American Arts Alliance: Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang
August 26: Habibi Festival: Esraa Warda & The Châab Lab, Firas Zreik, Yacine Boularès, and AJOYO
August 29: The Town Hall: Eighth Blackbird Celebrates John Cage
September 2: New York City Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor
September 8: Steinway Artists Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans
September 9: Classical Theatre of Harlem
September 16: Accordion Festival: Heart of Afghanistan and More
September 17: American Symphony Orchestra
About Bryant Park Corporation
Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions, and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security, sanitation, and horticultural services, BPC offers restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown Manhattan park is visited by more than 12 million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC’s website, bryantpark.org, offers more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.
Follow Bryant Park
Location and Subway Directions:
Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park; or, take the 7 train to 5th Avenue.