Organizers target a more family-friendly LarkFest

More activities for kids this year
Cloud Nothings will perform after 4 p.m. Saturday at LarkFest.
Cloud Nothings will perform after 4 p.m. Saturday at LarkFest.

Thousands will be heading to Albany on Saturday for the 36th LarkFest. 

Organizers this year are offering more activities for kids, along with the usual street packed full of vendors and a full lineup of live music. 

In years past, the festival has faced criticism for being too rowdy. However, Daniel Atkins, the Lark Street Business Improvement District chairman and co-owner of Savoy Taproom, said the festival is changing this year: It’s a place for people to have a drink as they’re walking among the vendors, bringing their children to one of the kids’ zones or listening to some of the bands. 

“It’s more about the variety this year,” Atkins said.

LarkFest is a hodgepodge of live music, craft vendors, kids activities, food trucks and visual arts. 
The headlining band, Cloud Nothings, is an Indie rock band that has been praised by Pitchfork, and according to Atkins, was one of the highest grossing bands on tour last year. They’re set to take the Madison Avenue stage at 4:05 p.m. Jackal Onasis, a Brooklyn-based trio, is slated to bring a post-punk sound to the festival, and will be playing on the Spring Street stage at 3:30 p.m. Other bands in the lineup include Aloha, an Indie electronic/rock group, and the folk group The North and South Dakotas. Some of the local bands slated include Sun Natives, Jouska, Prince Daddy and the Hyena, the Ryan Leddick Trio, Hate Club, Front Business, Restless Streets, Mic Lanny (Pig Food Records) and Let Go Daylight. 

Each band brings a different sound to the Madison Avenue and the Spring Street stages — from hard rock to electronic — so there should be something for everyone. 

Beyond the music, there are three kids’ zones that will include face painting, sidewalk chalk and more. 

“No matter where you come in [to the festival], you’ll be close to a kids’ zone,” Atkins said. 

There will also be specialty vendors selling art, jewelry, ceramics, soaps, etc. Nine Pin Cider and Chatham Brewery will have samples available and the restaurants along the street will remain open.  

While LarkFest is definitely an expense for the Lark Street BID (costing between $40,000 and $50,000 each year), Atkins said the event is a shot in the arm for local businesses and bands.

“It’s about highlighting the street. . . . I think 10 new businesses have opened up on Lark Street since last LarkFest,” Atkins said.

It gives local residents a reason to come out and explore, or “rediscover,” the street and support the local music scene. 

With the forecast looking sunny for Saturday, Atkins said that the BID is expecting a high turnout, upwards of 40,000 people. 

For information on LarkFest, visit 

LarkFest lineup

Madison Avenue Stage

  • 11:20 a.m. — Front Business
  • 12 p.m. — Ryan Leddick Trio 
  • 12:40 p.m. — Hate Club
  • 1:40 p.m. — Jouska
  • 2:45 p.m. — Mic Lanny (Pig Food Records)
  • 4:05 p.m. — Cloud Nothings

Spring Street Stage

  • 11 a.m. — Let Go Daylight
  • 11: 40 a.m. — Restless Streets
  • 12:20 p.m. — Sun Natives
  • 1:05 p.m. — The North & South Dakotas
  • 2:10 p.m. — Prince Daddy and the Hyena
  • 3:30 p.m. — Jackal Onasis

Categories: Entertainment

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