CBGB Returns with New Owners and Summer Music Festival

By Julie Shapiro on May 8, 2012 10:41am 

CBGB closed in 2006 but new owners hope to revive the venue.
CBGB closed in 2006 but new owners hope to revive the venue.
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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

EAST VILLAGE — CBGB is back.

The new owners of the legendary Bowery club, which shuttered in 2006, are rebooting the brand this summer with a major music festival and an eye toward eventually launching a new brick-and-mortar location, according to a report.

The CBGB Festival will run from July 5 to 8 featuring punk and rock bands including the Cro-Mags, The Baseball Project, Rocket From The Tombs, Vision of Disorder, D Generation and more, performing at venues ranging from Central Park Summer Stage to Arlene's Grocery on the Lower East Side, according to the festival website.

The festival is being organized by the new owners of the CBGB name and brand, a team of investors including Tim Hayes and musician Joe D'Urso, the New York Times reported.

Hayes told the Times that he hopes to continue the spirit of the original CBGB, a venue that helped launch new bands and was known as a place to hear fresh, exciting music.

"We’re never going to recreate that moment in time," Hayes said, referring to CBGB's heyday, when bands like Television, the Talking Heads, the Ramones and Blondie made their mark on the music scene.

"We’re trying to continue the idea of supporting live music, making a lot of noise and being a part of New York City," he said. "The festival is one way we can do it. Eventually the club will be another way we can do it."

Hayes said he and the other investors have not yet found a space to re-launch the club, but they are looking at buildings in Lower Manhattan.

The investors bought the rights to CBGB from Lisa Kristal Burgman, whose father Hilly Kristal founded the club in 1973. Kristal passed away in 2007 from complications of lung cancer.

Burgman told the Times she was relieved to see the venue "reborn."

In addition to live shows, the CBGB Festival in July will also offer an array of panels and films focused on the music world and a Spirits Festival July 8 that will highlight artisan distillers.

For more information and tickets to the shows and events, visit CBGB's website.

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