July 23, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Burlesque dancing, punk rock and comedy will take the stage on Saturday, July 25th, in support of an upcoming Astoria music festival.
From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Federation of Hellenic Societies, local nonprofit Astoria Music and Arts will present “A Night of Music and Burlesque.” With Astoria-based performers from a punk rock group to a comedic performance artist, the evening is a fundraiser for the group’s annual Astoria music festival.
The free, “Astoria Music Now!: New World Queens” festival will take place on the Astoria Park lawn from noon to 9 p.m. on August 29th. New World Queens refers to its theme this year, which highlights talent from diverse backgrounds and cultures, including Japanese and Afro-Cuban performances. Attendees will enjoy shows and work on display from 60 local musicians, dancers and artists. There will be a puppet show, food and drink, and a pie-eating contest.
“It’s super fun and inspiring,” said Nicole Mourelatos, who is organizing the festival alongside founder Justin Finley. “It’s about music, it’s about art, it’s about the community, [and] it’s a volunteer effort.”
Mourelatos – an Astoria native and artist who performs under the name Doris Cellar – said that the music festival has enjoyed tremendous support from local restaurants and bars since it began nearly a decade ago, and organizers hope the fundraiser will help cover some of its costs.
With multiple stages and an extensive lineup, putting on the festival is “a huge ordeal,” Mourelatos said.
This Saturday’s fundraiser, which aims to defray these costs, will be a punk rock-burlesque variety show that will appeal to everyone, Mourelatos said. “We wanted to mix it up.”
All proceeds from the fundraising event will go toward supplies, stages, labor, marketing and other expenses for the non-for-profit group for the August event. The group has 501(c)3 status, so the donations will be tax-deductible.
Saturday’s performers will be Honey Badgers burlesque troupe, Reboots, Billy Conahan, Killy “Killer” Dwyer, GIFTSHOP, Lucifer Jones and Schaffer the Darklord.
“If you want to laugh and have a good time, all while supporting Astoria’s music and arts scene, come by this Saturday,” Mourelatos said.
A suggested donation of $20 comes with two drinks. There will be prizes donated by Redken Saloon Salon and Coffeed.
Sponsors past and present include Queens Comfort, Judy & Punch, the Sparrow Film Project, The Quays, The Irish Whiskey Bar, Bohemian Beer Garden, Shillelagh Cavern, Ovelia Psistaria, and the Federation of Hellenic Societies, which is hosting the Saturday evening fundraiser.
Donnie D’Alessio, owner of Queens Comfort, praised the efforts saying, “Most of [our] staff and customers are artists or musicians of some kind…we need venues so their art can be appreciated. Between all the art, cultural diversity, and history here, Astoria is a very special place.” He added, “People should come out to the fundraiser to support the arts, and see all the beauty our diverse community has to offer.”
Attendees are able to RSVP on the following Facebook page.
The Federation of Hellenic Societies is located at 22-51 29th Street. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The Astoria Post is a media partner with Astoria Music Now!: New World Queens Festival