The Final Pool Party?
Jelly’s free The Pool Parties summer series came to a dramatic close yesterday with a slew of special guests and an appearance by New York Senator Chuck Schumer. The free Brooklyn, NY concert series has been plagued since renovations forced Jelly to move its event from McCarren Park Pool to the nearby Williamsburg Waterfront last year. Despite drawing big name talent like Girl Talk and Mission to Burma in 2009, Open Space Alliance—who oversees Williamsburg Waterfront—tried to prevent the series from returning this summer due to a number of safety and sponsorship complaints. Jelly and OSA continued to butt heads behind the scenes and in the press this summer, and the series was plagued with poor weather and low attendance. The feud came to a head last week when OSA pulled the plug on the final scheduled show after Jelly failed to make a payment. The organizations came to an agreement with the help of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, an outspoken advocate for The Pool Parties, and a group handful of local organizations who helped Jelly finance its final payment. Jelly confirmed that the final concert would go ahead as planned, though it is doubtful that Jelly will continue to host its Pool Parties at the Waterfront next summer.
Though the Jelly Pool Parties have hosted everything from funk to hip hop and jambands over the past five years, the concert series is best known for its high profile indie and electronic bookings—including MGMT, Grizzly Bear, the Hold Steady, TV on the Radio, Of Montreal and Dirty Projectors. This summer’s final show was set to feature MC Dominique Young Unique and indie-electro act Delorean, as well as a series of secret special guests. Jelly kept the event’s lineup under wraps but word started to leak that the event’s guests could include local rocker/promoter Andrew W.K. and, oddly enough, hip hop star Gucci Mane. After Dominique Young Unique and Delorean’s set, the event opened up into something of a hip hop revue, featuring Gucci Mane, Andrew W.K. and Brooklyn DJ collective The Rub, as well as The Cool Kids, New Orleans sissy bounce MC Big Freedia, D.M.C. of Run D.M.C. and Doug E Fresh. Schumer also spoke in favor of the series from the stage.
During his take on “Walk this Way,” D.M.C. collaborated with Andrew W.K. and Les Savy Fav frontman Tim Harrington, who took the stage wearing a fur coat and no shirt. While Gucci Mane offered the show’s final notes of music, Harrington’s appearance was the most fitting since Les Savy Fav played the first Jelly Pool Party in 2006.
The future of the free Pool Parties series seems uncertain yet the Williamsburg Waterfront will continue to host music by other promoters. Jelly will also continue to present music throughout Brooklyn, including its summer Rock Yard series. “We would also like to thank all of our supporters and our haters.,” Jelly said in a tweet today. “Where would we be without you??? :) WE <3 YOU BROOKLYN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”