South Street Seaport

Note: After Hurricane Sandy and redevelopment, South Street Seaport has undergone changes.  The Seaport Music Festival seem to have ceased. South Street Seaport is located on Pier 17, Manhattan,...

South Street Seaport

Veronica Falls

Note: After Hurricane Sandy and redevelopment, South Street Seaport has undergone changes.  The Seaport Music Festival seem to have ceased.

South Street Seaport is located on Pier 17, Manhattan, at Fulton & South Street.  It is an actual wooden pier, albeit a modern and stable one, located between the Pier 19 shopping mall (and on the other side of that, Beekman Beer Garden and the former Spiegeltent) and a collection of turn-of-the-century sailing ships; giant masts and (what was until 2013) a huge Pizzeria Uno together loom over the plaza.  It lies within the Seaport tourist area in southern Manhattan, right upon the East River.  During the summer, the annual Seaport Music Festival holds a series of concerts there, Fridays, starting at 7:00 P.M.  It was one of the downtown, riverside venues used by River-to-River Festival during the summer, along with Battery Park, Castle Clinton, World Financial Center, Rockefeller Park, and others, though in 2013 it became a separate event.  In 2011, The Village Voice, after having had its last Siren Music Festival on Coney Island the prior summer, began a new free one-day music festival, 4knots, at South Street Seaport.

The actual stage is located at the end of the pier’s wide plaza.  Being free, all-ages, and outdoors during the summer, most acts get quite a healthy turnout, and the crowd on the plaza can get quite thick.  The sound carries well, however, thanks to large speakers and side structures.  There’s a ‘photo well’ area between the crowd and the stage, cordoned off by portable metal railing barriers.  That cordoned area extends up the house-left side of the stage floor, and is open not just to press but other VIPs, friends of the bands, friends of the festival and so forth.  It creates a corridor on the other side for people using the stores and restaurants that open onto the plaza from Pier 19, but also gives the main stage floor area a bit of a ‘boxed in’ feel.  The stage is elevated only five feet or so, but the acts become more and more visible as the sun goes down (it’s usually still light out when the first band takes the stage, but dark by the time the main band does).  Beer is sold from a few kiosks, but a better deal on pitchers can be found in the bar at the top floor of the Pier 19 mall, that opens out onto the food court and overlooks South Street Seaport; one can leave, pitcher in hand, via the outside staircase, avoiding the no-alcohol rest of the mall.

Seaport Music features a diverse array of acts, but more and more come from the alternative arena, usually more towards the more ‘artistic’, yet still accessible, acts; they’ve also been doing a nice job of getting up-and-coming New York acts, either opening at Seaport right before they blow up, or headlining there right when they are blowing up.  It nicely results in bands you’ve always wanted to see, but just never have, without feeling like the free show is going to be such a draw as to make the crowd oppressive.  Not that the audiences don’t get intense: sometimes only inclement weather or security prevent a number of fans either moshing, crowd-surfing, or jumping into the well.  There are usually three bands, always at least two, and the second is invariably someone you’ve heard of that are worth checking out as well.  A great, easy way to kick off summer weekends, whether you work downtown or not (though, like pretty much everything on the southern shores of Manhattan, it’s a bit of a trek from the closest subway stop, and the area gets pretty dead late at night); just watch out – it’s dangerously easy to get used to, but when summer ends, so do the shows.


Capacity: 7,000-8,000

all ages, free


Pier 17 at Fulton & South Street

By Subway:

A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains to Fulton St. – walk 6 blocks east to the river


QRO Coverage:

-The Make-Up, with Martin Rev, James Chance & The Contortions, The Wolfmanhattan Project, The Nude Party, Death Valley Girls, Surfbort, and Warm Drag, September 10th, 2017 (Seaport Music Festival) – festival recap, The Make-Up photos, Martin Rev photos, James Chance & The Contortions photos, The Wolfmanhattan Project photos, The Nude Party photos, Death Valley Girls photos, Surfbort photos, Warm Drag photos

-Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, with Jean Grae, Azar Swan, and Big Huge, September 9th, 2010 (Seaport Music Festival) – festival recap, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists photos, Jean Grae photos, Azar Swan photos, Big Huge photos

-Guided by Voices, with The Strumbellas, Girlpool, Protomartyr, Mild High Club, Car Seat Headrest, Diane Coffee, Mothers, Bayonne, Kirk Knight, Boulevards, and Promised Land Sound, July 9th, 2016 (4Knots) – festival recap, Guided by Voices photos, The Strumbellas photos, Girlpool photos, Protomartyr photos, Mild High Club photos, Car Seat Headrest photos, Diane Coffee photos, Mothers photos, Bayonne photos, Kirk Knight photos, Boulevards photos, Promised Land Sound photos

-Joanna Gruesome, with Big Ups, August 29th, 2014 – Joanna Gruesome photos, Big Ups photos

-Dead Gaze, with Mystery Lights, August 22nd, 2014 – Dead Gaze photos, Mystery Lights photos

-Boogarins, with Jacco Gardner, August 15th, 2014 – Boogarins photos, Jacco Gardner photos

-Black Bananas, with Shockwave Riderz, August 8th, 2014 – Black Bananas photos, Shockwave Riderz photos

-Calvin Love, with Las Rojas, July 18th, 2014 – Calvin Love photos, Las Rojas photos

-Dinosaur Jr., with Mac DeMarco, Those Darlins, Nude Beach, Viet Cong, Juan Wauters, Speedy Ortiz, Crazy Pills, Radkey, and Dead Stars, July 12th, 2014 (4Knots) – festival recap, Dinosaur Jr. photos, Mac DeMarco photos, Those Darlins photos, Nude Beach photos, Viet Cong photos, Juan Wauters photos, Speedy Ortiz photos, Crazy Pills photos, Radkey photos, Dead Stars photos

-Protomartyr, with Alvvays, July 11th, 2014 – Protomartyr photos, Alvvays photos

-Kurt Vile & The Violators, with Reigning Sound, The Men, Marnie Stern, Parquet Courts, The Babies, White Lung, Fat Tony, Hunters, Heliotropes, and Steve Gunn, June 29th, 2013 (4Knots) – festival recap, Kurt Vile & The Violators photos, Reigning Sound photos, The Men photos, Marnie Stern photos, Parquet Courts photos, The Babies photos, White Lung photos, Fat Tony photos, Hunters photos, Heliotropes photos, Steve Gunn photos

-Unknown Mortal Orchestra, with Bass Drum of Death, June 28th, 2013 – Unknown Mortal Orchestra photos, Bass Drum of Death photos

-Fear of Men, with Writer, June 21st, 2013 – Fear of Men live review, Fear of Men photos, Writer photos

-White Fence, with PAWS, June 14th, 2013 – White Fence photos, PAWS photos

-Archers of Loaf, with The Drums, Crocodiles, Delicate Steve, Hospitality, Team Spirit, Bleached, Devin, Nick Waterhouse, and Doldrums, July 14th, 2012 (4Knots) – Archers of Loaf photos, The Drums photos, Crocodiles photos, Delicate Steve photos, Hospitality photos, Team Spirit photos, Bleached photos, Devin photos, Nick Waterhouse photos, Doldrums photos

-Eleanor Friedberger, with Ex Cop and Zambri, July 13th, 2012 – Eleanor Friedberger photos, Ex Cop photos, Zambri photos

-Patrick Watson, with Loney Dear, July 6th, 2012 – live review, Patrick Watson photos, Loney Dear photos

-Veronica Falls, with People’s temple, June 29th, 2012 – Veronica Falls photos, People’s Temple photos

-The Miracles Club, June 22nd, 2012 – photos

-The Black Angels, with Titus Andronicus, Davila 666, Oberhofer, Eleanor Friedberger, and Mr. Dream, July 16th, 2011 (4Knots) – The Black Angels photos, Titus Andronicus photos, Davila 666 photos, Oberhofer photos, Eleanor Friedberger photos, Mr. Dream photos

-The Radio Dept., with Asobi Seksu, July 15th, 2011 – live review, The Radio Dept. photos, Asobi Seksu photos

-Lower Dens, with Dirty Beaches, July 1st, 2011 – Lower Dens photos, Dirty Beaches photos

-The Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger, with Blood Orange, June 24th, 2011 – The Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger photos, Blood Orange photos

-The Wedding Present, with Savoir Adore, August 13th, 2010 – The Wedding Present live review, The Wedding Present photos, Savoir Adore photos

-YACHT, August 6th, 2010 – live review, photos

-Free Energy, with Best Coast & Loose Limbs, July 23rd, 2010 – Free Energy photos, Best Coast photos, Loose Limbs photos

-Golden Triangle, with So Cow, July 16th, 2010 – Golden Triangle photos, So Cow photos

-Bear In Heaven, with Zola Jesus, July 9th, 2010 – Bear In Heaven live review, Bear In Heaven photos, Zola Jesus photos

-Beach Fossils, with Woven Bones, July 2nd, 2010 – Beach Fossils photos, Woven Bones photos

-Ninjasonik, June 15th, 2010 (‘Sounds like PAPER‘) – photos (over-capacity crowd caused rest of show, Drake and Hanson, to cancel)

-School of Seven Bells, with The xx, August 16th, 2009 – School of Seven Bells photos, The xx photos

-CasioKids, with Slow Club & The Wave Pictures, August 7th, 2009 – CasioKids photos, Slow Club photos, The Wave Pictures photos

-Black Moth Super Rainbow, with Blank Dogs & Dan Friel (of Parts & Labor), July 24th, 2009 – Black Moth Super Rainbow live review, Black Moth Super Rainbow photos, Blank Dogs photos, Dan Friel photos

-Superchunk, with Vs., July 17th, 2009 – Superchunk live review, Superchunk photos, Vs. photos

-The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, July 10th, 2009 – live review, photos

-Kid Cudi, with Chester French & special guest Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, June 26th, 2009 (‘Sounds Like PAPER‘) – Kid Cudi photos, Chester French photos

-The Kiss Off, February 13th, 2009 (‘Seaport on Ice’) – photos

-Boris, with KRS-One, Flying Lotus, Devin the Dude, John Oliver, Awesome Color, High Places, Vivian Girls, Ólöf Arnalds, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (East Village Radio Music Festival), September 7th, 2008 – festival recap, Boris photos, KRS-One photos, Flying Lotus photos, Devin the Dude photos, John Oliver photos, Awesome Color photos, High Places photos, Vivian Girls photos, Ólöf Arnalds photos, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble photos

-Oneida, August 29th, 2008 – photos

-Grand Archives, with Violens, August 22nd, 2008 – Grand Archives photos, Violens photos

-Dirty Projectors, with White Williams, August 15th, 2008 – Dirty Projectors photos, White Williams photos

-Cass McCombs, with Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, August 8th, 2008 – Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson live review, Cass McCombs photos, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson photos

-Atlas Sound, with Crystal Stilts, July 25th, 2008 – Atlas Sound live review, Atlas Sound photos, Crystal Stilts photos

-Mary Weiss, July 18th, 2008 – photos

-No Age, with Telepathe & Abe Vigoda, July 11th, 2008 – No Age live review, No Age photos, Telepathe photos, Abe Vigoda photos

-A Place To Bury Strangers, June 27th, 2008 – photos

-Wire, May 30th, 2008 – live review, photos

-Battles, with Deerhunter, August 31st, 2007 – Deerhunter live review, Battles photos, Deerhunter photos

-Camera Obscura, August 24th, 2007 – live review, photos

-The National, August 17th, 2007 – photos

-Au Revoir Simone, August 10th, 2007 – photos

-Bishop Allen, July 20th, 2007 – live review, photos

-Ra Ra Riot, with Sam Champion, June 29th, 2007 – Ra Ra Riot live review, Ra Ra Riot photos, Sam Champion photos

Veronica Falls

Live Videos:

The Wedding Present – “Granadaland”, New York, NY, 8/13/10
Savoir Adore – “Bodies”, New York, NY, 8/13/10
YACHT – “Nausea” (X cover), New York, NY, 8/6/10
Superchunk – “Learned To Surf”, New York, NY, 7/17/09
Superchunk – “Slack Motherfucker”, New York, NY, 7/17/09
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – “Gentle Sons”, New York, NY, 7/10/09
The Kiss Off – “Something’s Wrong”, New York, NY, 2/13/09
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – “The Ongoing Debate Concerning Present vs. Future”, New York, NY, 8/8/08
Atlas Sound – “Logos”, New York, NY, 7/25/08
No Age – “Teen Creeps”, New York, NY, 7/11/08
No Age – “Eraser”, New York, NY, 7/11/08
No Age – “Ripped Knees”, New York, NY, 7/11/08
Wire – “Pink Flag”, New York, NY, 5/30/08
Wire – “Lowdown”, New York, NY, 5/30/08
Wire – “The 15th”, New York, NY, 5/30/08
Wire – “Perspex Icon”, New York, NY, 5/30/08
Wire – “Comet”, New York, NY, 5/30/08
Deerhunter – “Fluorescent Grey”, New York, NY, 8/31/07

South Street Seaport

Click here for the venue’s website

Seaport Music Festival

Click here for the festival’s website

Venue Reviews

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