As we approach the end of 2019, the staff at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival looks back at their favorite shows from the 2019 season, with shoutouts to everyone from Celso Piña to Liz Phair to Burna Boy, and everyone in between. Is your favorite on the list?
Jack Walsh, Executive Producer of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
Bomba Estéreo for coming all the way from Bogota, Colombia just to play at the Bandshell, and for bringing such a warm and beautifully inspiring show to close our season!
Sue Contreras, Senior Development Manager
Seeing Celso Piña, in every possible way, reminded me of home. He communicates love, hardship, and resiliency in the most beautiful way possible and speaks to the immigrant experience in a way that brings us all together.
Kimberly Green, Senior Marketing Manager
The Liz Phair / Ted Leo concert was a personal highlight—so much empowerment via rock. Plus, Caroline Rose was a blast as the opener! Also, Ibeyi kept the momentum going as our second show of the summer, which was a packed house and a ton of fun.
Andrew Lockhart, Senior Sponsorship Manager
I really loved the Jidenna show. The energy of the audience was amazing, and I loved the fact that he ran through the audience. It was also super special for me because I’d seen him perform a few summers prior, and he was a different performer then. It was really great to see how much he has evolved as an artist since then and I was happy to see him on the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival stage.
Jay Sterkel, Production Supervisor
My favorite show this season was Tank and the Bangas. It was the Solstice, we were all dog-tired after a long load-in, and it was a four-show week. These guys rolled up right on time, kindly and nicely did their job, and might have had the most fun out of any act we had all summer—and they played their brains out. We had to let them back onstage after the music curfew so the audience would leave!
Heather Sandler, Development Manager & Membership Associate
Tank and the Bangas: The energy of the crowd was equally matched by the energy of the performers. Standing with the audience members, I could feel the excitement radiating throughout the park.
Emma Osmundson, Operations Associate
During the late afternoon of the Liz Phair show, the staff had to deal with major wind and storm warnings, but that didn’t stop the show! The weather completely calmed down, and thousands of people turned out for a fantastic night. I even got a chance to dance backstage to Liz Phair’s iconic song “Why Can’t I,” which was definitely a highlight of my summer!
Andrea Montes de Oca, Contracts & Artist Services
My favorite show of the season was our closing night! Bomba Estéreo brought the energy, plus some very cute costumes and stage décor.
Kevin Foley, Site Coordinator
On what was likely the hottest night of the summer, Burna Boy packed the bandshell with one of the largest crowds I’ve seen having worked 10 years at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. I was in awe of his energy and how he kept thousands of concertgoers, drenched in sweat, engaged throughout the evening. I must also mention the honor of seeing one of Celso Piña’s final performances this year before his passing in August; it’s a night I’ll never forget.
David Andrako, Staff Photographer
Opening bands should get more love. It’s not always easy to come out and get the crowd moving but there were some standout openers: Delsonido, Adia Victoria, Leikeli47, Caroline Rose, and Ted Leo & the Pharmacists all had great sets this summer at the Bandshell.
Ron Gaskill, Publicity, Blake Zidell & Associates
Gaby Moreno: That closing song with Oscar Isaac and Jackson Browne performing "Fare Thee Well" on a warm July night was PEAK Bandshell for me. Celso Piña: At one point I was walking through the crowd, seeing all the families that so often picnic and barbeque outside the Bandshell now inside dancing and having a good time. That really struck me as something I'd love to see more of.
Gabrielle Davenport, Programmer
My 2019 favorites were Chucho Valdés and Burna Boy. Chucho Valdés was artistically one of the best shows I've ever seen and it was so beautiful on that big stage! And Burna Boy...what an epic night! Such a fun show, with so many fans at the Bandshell.