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Northside Festival
Photograph: Signe PierceNorthside Festival

The week's best festivals: June 14-21, 2012



Atlantic Avenue Extravaganza

Saturday 16
The Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District celebrates the variety of offerings along its namesake thoroughfare with performances, tastings and shopping deals. The Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band will christen AABID’s new headquarters (340 Atlantic Ave between Hoyt and Smith Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. There, you can pick up a handout listing all the special events and participating merchants. As you roam around, enjoy sidewalk shows by female percussion collective Batala NYC and Afrofunk brass band Underground Horns, while sidestepping stilt-walkers from Circus Amok and acrobats from LAVA Studio. Persian café Bijan’s Brooklyn will dole out complimentary chicken wings and saffron-blueberry pancakes, which you can wash down with a free iced tea from all-natural apothecary the Herb Shoppe. (Ask about the gratis loose-leaf herbal tea blends used to brew the drinks, and you’ll receive a coupon to use during a future visit.) After gorging on freebies, head to Circa Antiques, where expert appraisers will answer questions about the monetary value of family heirlooms, or visit Silk Road Antiques to see demonstrations of calligraphy and kendo, a Japanese martial art, in the backyard garden. Atlantic Ave from Brooklyn-Queens Expwy to Fourth Ave, Brooklyn ( 1–5pm; free.

Northside Festival

Thursday 14–June 21
This eight-day celebration of Williamsburg and Greenpoint’s cultural scenes involves more than 350 music acts, 100 artists, 50 films, a two-day entrepreneurship conference and a block party honoring Kings County. The music portion of the festival (Thu 14–Sun 17) is spread over 50 venues and features a diverse lineup, including electronica outfit Starfucker, punk band Ceremony, indie-rockers the Olivia Tremor Control and hip-hop pioneers Ultramagnetic MCs. A three-day group exhibition called “Many Conversations” at gallery Present Company (Fri 15–Sun 17) showcases the work of 26 north Brooklyn artists, and Williamsburg Walks (Sat 16) allows interactive installations, video projections, graffiti demos and performance art to spill onto car-free Bedford Avenue between North 8th and 9th Streets. This year’s film fest (Mon 18–June 21) will fill three area cinemas with entries in a DIY competition and several features making their Brooklyn premieres, like the Seth Rogen–Michelle Williams dramedy Take This Waltz. Meanwhile, prospective arts impresarios can learn how to stage their own events from local innovators and business leaders, such as Etsy’s Kellan Elliott-McCrea and Dennis Crowley of Foursquare, at the entrepreneurship summit (Thu 14, Fri 15). Locations, times and prices vary; see for more information.

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