BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Robby Takac, the president and founder of local nonprofit Music is Art and bassist for the Goo Goo Dolls, on Thursday morning announced plans for the 21st annual Music is Art Festival.
This year’s event will take place on Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. until1 a.m. the next morning at Buffalo RiverWorks and River Fest Park.
“This year, we have a little bit of a challenge, as you can see behind us, the (Michigan Street) bridge is up,” Takac said. “It’s going to be up during the festival, but we’ve made some arrangements for that.”
Takac said the festival will be “a little bit larger” and “a little bit more exciting” as a result of the bridge closure, given the expansion throughout the River Fest Park neighborhood. He also said the event will have four large boats to transport attendees across the river, in addition to shuttles for ground transportation.
Takac said the nonprofit has partnered with Hartman’s Distillery, Resurgence Brewing, Papi Grande’s Beach Bar, Swannie House, and Mammoth Studios to shut down some streets for the event, including Moore Street and Chicago Street.
The 2023 festival will feature 250 bands and 150 DJs across 27 stages, in addition to 50 exhibiting artists, dozens of art installations, dancers, and a kids area.
“For the very first time, we’re featuring VIP packages,” Takac said. “Which include parking, they include tickets for the boats, they include VIP experiences — free food and beer all day up at RiverWorks.”
This year’s poster was also unveiled during the announcement.
The poster features a musician with pink hair being grabbed by octopus tentacles, featuring signs in the background reading “Michigan St” and “Bridge Closed.”
“It looks like it might be a younger version of me, perhaps, panicking, because the Michigan Street bridge is to be closed during the Music is Art Festival this year,” he joked.
Takac thanked Erie County for its support, but addressed issues with funding from the State, asking local organizations and businesses who see the importance of the event to the community to help keep the event free.
“We’ve had a little bit of a challenge with New York State funding this year, but we’re working on that,” he said. “We ask any organizations or businesses around here who might want to help out to join in and help keep this event free, because for the 21st year, my friends, it’s free.”
Watch a replay of the press conference in the video player above. For more information on the festival, click here.