Since it began nine years ago, globalFEST (globalfest.org) has become North America's most influential showcase and festival of global music, centered around its annual multi-stage event in New York each January.
But now it's taking the show-and its distinctive curatorial vision-on the road to Bonnaroo on Saturday June 9, 2012. The first globalFEST tent will also host Spectrum Road, a supergroup tribute to Tony Williams with Vernon Reid, John Medeski, Jack Bruce and Cindy Blackman-Santana.
The not-for-profit globalFEST, co-founded and produced by Bill Bragin, Isabel Soffer, and Shanta Thake, has now expanded to include curating at other festivals in the US and globally (including Bonnaroo, SXSW, and Festival D' Ile de France), and oversees the globalFEST Touring Fund, which provides much needed tour support for local and International Artists to reach new markets throughout the US.
"globalFEST's role in developing audiences for a wide variety of international music styles and to encourage artistic risk taking in the performing arts field has made significant strides for venues, audiences and artists alike," explains Soffer. "We hope our mission to encourage cross-cultural exchange, support diverse programming, and develop meaningful cultural diplomacy relationships will create new opportunities within the performing arts field and beyond."
"Part of our goal has been what I half-jokingly refer to as 'infiltration.' We've been successful in moving world music to the center of the conversation in the performing arts world," Bragin notes. "In recognition that the touring ecology for global music moves between non-profit performing arts centers, festivals and commercial venues, we've now started to work on infiltrating the more commercial music field as well, especially targeting younger audiences."
"Through globalFEST's 'infiltration' success, we are acknowledging that a younger audience now exists for world music," Thake adds. "Bringing globalFEST to these festivals is working to fill an actual desire of festival audiences to see these world music bands in venues and festivals that they frequent."