Over the 100 emerging bands registered to perform at the New Colossus Festival in Manhattan's Lower East Side and East Village. Since this five-day event was scheduled right before SXSW, it was a starting point on the way to the Texas festival. Then SXSW was cancelled due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. The New Colossus Festival soldiered on, but each day, as the government issued additional warnings, fewer people attended the performances and more bands dropped out and went home.
The New Colossus Festival blossomed from a 10-bands-in-one-day pre-SXSW concert at Pianos in 2018 to more than 100 bands performing in eight venues across five days and nights in 2020. Many of the bands were scheduled to perform several times throughout the festival at Arlene's Grocery, Berlin, the Bowery Ballroom, the Bowery Electric, the Delancey, Lola, Moscot, and Pianos. Daytime shows were free to the public, whereas the nighttime events required individual admissions or a $100 festival badge. The venues were all in walking distance of one another, so the idea was that music fans would flow from venue to venue from early in the day to late at night.
The festival listed numerous bands travelling from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries. Especially for bands not signed to a recording contract, the dream of performing in the United States for the first time at the New Colossus Festival and SXSW was a considerable financial and possibly non-recoverable investment. No one could expected a sudden international pandemic to shatter those dreams.
The one Bowery Ballroom concert, featuring A Place to Bury Strangers, Public Practice, and Life, was the first event to be cancelled. Midway through the festival, Pianos and the Bowery Electric cancelled the rest of their shows (although the Bowery Electric kept the shows in the Map Room going a little longer). By Sunday, all shows everywhere were cancelled.
|Ali Barter (Australia)|
|Hot Garbage (Canada)|
|Karkosa (United Kingdom)|
|Coco Verde (United States)|
|The Orielles (United Kingdom)|
|Honey Lung (United Kingdom)|
|Wyldest (United Kingdom)|
|Luke De-Sciscio (UNited Kingdom)|
|Thud (Hong Kong)|
|Water from Your Eyes (United States)|
|Hanya (United Kingdom)|
|Swallow the Rat (New Zealand)|
|Honey Cutt (United States)|
|Life (United Kingdom)|
|Tim Burgess of the Charlatans UK (United Kingdom)|