A nine-day festival held in late September 2021 that celebrated the glorious community of Greenwich Village and all it has given the world. More than 30 events and over 50 performers at venues across the Village.
The Village Trip will be back in September 2022, even bigger and better! Among the festival’s themes will be a centenary celebration of Jack Kerouac, including a new world première setting of his poetry by David Amram, The Village Trip Artist Emeritus.
Be there! We look forward to seeing you.
The beat lives on and on...
“New York is definitely back,” said musician and broadcaster Jon McEntyre aka Jonny Darlin at the end of a sun-filled, joy-fuelled day in Washington Square Park. Crowds danced away the final Saturday of September to the infectious rhythms of Bobby Sanabria and His Multiverse Big Band with special guest Janis Siegel, lead singer of The Manhattan Transfer.
The free concert was, as usual, the centerpiece of The Village Trip, the festival founded in 2018 to celebrate the artistic and social history of Greenwich Village. It’s been said that the Village is less a place, more a state of mind with no boundaries. The Village Trip celebrated that with more than thirty events – walks and talks, and folk, jazz, rock, and classical music, including a special concert by the young students of the Third Street Music Settlement School. The festival kicked off with David Amram and friends on Eighth Street on September 18, a celebration of “The Eighth Street Experience,” with appropriate touches of Jimi Hendrix provided by Bodies Electric, and ended on the 26th with David and yet more friends in a grand folk finale at the historic Bitter End, New York City’s oldest rock club, marking its sixtieth birthday this year.
David, who is Artist Emeritus of The Village Trip, also led a unique walk, celebrating “sixty-five joyous years in the Village,” its rich history deeply entwined with his own. In 2022, he will lead TVT’s celebration of his old friend Jack Kerouac’s centenary.
This year The Village Trip grew from three to nine days and expanded in scope to include a theater crawl, readings by children’s book authors, buskers, and open design studios.
Geographically as well as spiritually, Washington Square has always been the center of the Village, and Bohemia’s beating heart, a place to which everyone – locals and folks from around the world – is ineluctably drawn, whether it’s to protest or just hang out.
And hang out on that sunny Saturday they did, from the lunchtime soundcheck until the last notes of “Let the Good Times Roll.” “All night long” the crowds chanted back at surprise guest, singer Antoinette Montague, who closed the show, boogying through the throng to take the stage.
Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein, danced the day away, then commented on Facebook: “Boyoboy did it ever go down. Wash Sq Park didn’t know what hit it!”
Janis Siegel called it “a magical day of NYC music, history, community, movement and visual stimulation.” As the organisers of The Village Trip, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Thanks for coming. See you next year.
Liz Thomson and Cliff Pearson
Joint Artistic Directors
Just simply a magical day of NYC music, history, community, movement and visual stimulation. I’m grateful to Bobby Sanabria and his powerful Multiverse Orchestra and to Liz Thomson, the creator and visionary of the Village Trip Festival. Was thrilled to see some NYU students attending as well as all the old hippies in the neighborhood!
Janis Siegel, writing on Facebook. after performing in Washington Square with Bobby Sanabria
This is what New York is all about. Live music, community-based, for free that everybody can enjoy, we’ve been missing this. This is a late summer explosion before the weather shuts us down. Let’s enjoy what the city has to offer
Ericka Hamburg, who traveled from Staten Island to join the fun, quoted in AMNY
With Liz and Cliff joining hands and so many other people now realizing that Liz's crazy dream is NOT so crazy after all, I feel certain that the Festival will continue to grow and become an inspiration for ALL New Yorkers to appreciate the amazing city we still have and the jewel and oasis that the Village has been for so long!!
From a big band blaring Latin-spiced jazz in Washington Square Park to a phalanx of electric guitarists playing Frank Zappa and a special 50th-anniversary performance of Joni Mitchell’s landmark Blue album, The Village Trip’s final weekend was awash in music. The nine-day annual festival, in its third incarnation, wrapped up in grand fashion
The Village Sun
Many thanks to all our donors and supporters, in particular:
The Washington Square Park Conservancy | The Washington Square Association | The Village Alliance | Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce | Village Preservation | New York University | The Red House Fund | Three Lives & Company | Martin Colyer | Jeanne Donovan Fisher | Keith Fox | Leslie Garfield |The Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music
Special thanks to David Amram and Doug Yeager for their belief, wise counsel and energetic participation; Duncan Milne; Ellen Rubin and Dan Scheffey; Jamie Kalikow and Maria Passannante-Derr; Paul Rizzo and the Bitter End; Father Graeme Napier and St John’s in the Village; and to the great band of festival volunteers.
Finally, deep thanks and appreciation to Judy Paul and Marc Garrett, and Rita Paul, owners of The Washington Square Hotel, inaugural sponsor of The Village Trip and the festival’s home base. Their friendship and support over more than twenty-five years proved that even crazy dreams can sometimes come true.