Woodstock Flopped, But “Black Woodstock” Will Return To Harlem To Celebrate 50 Years

Future x Sounds, a new national concert series, announces it’s kick-off concert today in tandem with New York City’s City Park’s Foundation’s Summerstage Concerts.

The show marks the 50th Anniversary of the Harlem Cultural Festival aka Black Woodstock in Harlem, which took place at the same time as the Woodstock Music festival in upstate New York.

This show will be the first of a number concerts taking place across the country that will provide local award-winning, and socially conscious artists an opportunity to share their creative visions.

Taking place in the summer of 1969, the original festival held a series of concerts in Mount Morris Park (now known as Marcus Garvey Park), to celebrate black pride, empowerment, music, culture.

The concert featured such icons as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Sly & the Family Stone, Jesse Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, The Staples Singers, Fifth Dimension, Mams Mabley, Hugh Masakela, among many others.

Largely unknown, the event attracted nearly 50,000 attendees and took place at the exact same time as Woodstock Festival in Bethel, NY.

Curated by Neal Ludevig, a founder of the Harlem Arts Festival, the event will take place on August 17th at the original site of the Harlem Cultural Festival, in Marcus Garvey Park at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.

The concert will be musically led by Igmar Thomas, who has collaborated and led with the likes of Wyclef Jean, Yasiin Bey, Esperanza Spalding, Lauryn Hill and Nas.

Black Woodstock will be co-hosted by Talib Kweli, the fiercely independent MC known for his incisive, hard-hitting socially conscious raps and for Black Star.

Future x Sounds will also feature Grammy Award Winning trumpeter and singer Keyon Harrold, and a number of surprise special guests.

“Future x Sounds is the result of a collaborative effort between an alike-minded community of producers, promoters, curators and iconic artists across the country. Our goal is to connect the dots and provide artists with a unique creative opportunity to share their message, elevate their peers and celebrate their communities while providing a platform for talent discovery and reflection.” – Founder and Producer Angela Gil

“This is more than just a concert, given what is going on across the country today,” added New York Curator and Co-Producer Neal Ludevig. “This event both pays tribute to an important legacy, and also illustrates how community, activism, and culture can intersect to actively impact our world today.”

The 50th Year Anniversary concert will be free and open to the public as part of City Park’s Foundation’s summer programming, will be accompanied by a series of conversations around activism at Harlem Stage, and other local institutions, and is being supported in part by the Empire State Development Corporation.

Details of upcoming Future x Sounds concerts, along with the NYC kick-off can be found at http://www.futurexsounds.com.