When considering a music festival, certain images might spring to mind: hot mid-summer days in West Coast locales; big-name electronic acts and DJs playing all night, for days and days, in the desert; exorbitantly high ticket prices and corporate sponsorships. The Layer Cake Festival, happening Oct. 3 at the James Street Gastropub, on the North Side, isn’t quite on that scale. But what it does have in common is a plethora of live musical acts and a selection of visual artists who will be painting in real time, alongside the performing musicians.
The inaugural Layer Cake Festival boasts three stages: one in the gastropub’s “speakeasy,” one on the ground floor and one in the second-floor ballroom. Each floor will be hosted by a local comedian, including Stoph Edison, who’ll emcee the speakeasy stage. “I’m super-excited to be part of the Layer Cake Fest,” says Edison. “There are some really great people involved and it’s an honor to have been pulled into the fray.”
The Layer Cake Festival focuses heavily on local musical acts, including Grand Piano, Weird Paul, Decaffeinated Grapefruit, Chet Vincent, Bat Zuppel, Crystal Lee Morgan, The Me Toos, Isada Tariq, Flock of Walri and more. The festival will be sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery, which will treat festival attendees to free beer tastings all day, and a $5 draft special. The Layer Cake Festival is also brought to fans with the cooperation of the national campaign for Bernie Sanders 2016.
“The campaign for Bernie Sanders reached out to me several weeks ago in regards to having a table at the event,” explains the festival’s organizer, an artist who goes by the alias Ziggy Sawdust, and operates Ziggy Sawdust Productions. Though Sanders won’t actually be at the festival, volunteers will handing out information on the presidential hopeful and registering people to vote. But don’t worry if Sanders (or politics in general) isn’t your thing. As Sawdust notes, “These candidates are reflections of my own personal political views, but do not necessarily reflect the views of everyone involved with the festival.”