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River to River Festival Shrinks Free Arts Events from Month to Just 11 Days

 The River to River Festival draws thousands of people to free summer arts events in Lower Manhattan.
The River to River Festival draws thousands of people to free summer arts events in Lower Manhattan.
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LOWER MANHATTAN — The River to River Festival is returning to Lower Manhattan this summer — but it'll be shorter than in previous years.

The free music, dance and arts festival, now in its 13th year, will be packed into just 11 days this June rather than running a full month, according to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which organizes the event.

The organization decided to consolidate River to River's eclectic programs "to drum up a little more excitement about the events," said Laura Nicoll, the branding and PR manager for the LMCCC.

"We still [have] just about the same number of artists — this year about 90 — and events," she said. "But we decided to offer the programming in about 10 days, [to] make it seem a bit more special if the festival isn't around for as long."

The new jam-packed River to River Festival will kick off June 19 with the “R2R Bash,” a block party-style event with dance troupe and rock band People Get Ready on North End Avenue. The party will also include discounts at Battery Park City restaurants and retailers, as well as family-friendly activities.

Some highlights of the festival, which takes place entirely south of Chambers Street, include an evening of music created and inspired by acclaimed minimalist composer Terry Riley on June 20; innovative Haitian artist Belo playing his version of Caribbean music at the South Street Seaport on June 28; and the Trisha Brown Dance Company performing on the East River Waterfront on June 25 and June 26.

The festival will also bring back its popular Bang on a Can Marathon, a freewheeling eight-hour concert on June 22 at the Brookfield Place Winter Garden featuring musicians from across the globe.

The River to River Festival will run from June 19 to June 29. For a complete schedule of events, visit the festival's website.