HONK! is putting on its 6th HONK! Festival in Boston on September 30th through October 3rd, a gathering of musicians that express themselves about various issues and causes they support. Brass, or horns, are strongly encouraged but one can also find drummers. Causes range from migrant labor to environmental issues. Participants often dress up in costume, and have props to voice their concerns for their cause. The line between performer and audience is very blurry, on purpose.
"Honkers" are explained on their website: "Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band is emerging. Acoustic and mobile, borrowing repertoire and inspiration from a diverse set of folk music traditions – New Orleans second line brass bands, European Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Afro Bloc and Frevo traditions, as well as the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival– these “honkers” all share a commitment to several core principles. Metaphorically speaking, they honk their horns for the same reasons motorists honk theirs: to arouse fellow travelers, to warn of danger, to celebrate milestones, and to just plain have fun."
They march and play their music and honk their horns "because it’s the best way they know to protest a world of violence and oppression." and "to celebrate the causes and institutions they support: multicultural festivals, peace conferences, social forums, artists collectives, community gardens, children’s workshops, neighborhood fundraisers, block parties, relief benefits and homeless shelters."
For more information watch the video below, and check out the HonkFest.org Website.