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Waterfront Music Festival to Draw Thousands to Red Hook, Organizers Say

 The debut "Escape Music Festival" will be hosted in October at the Red Hook Container Terminal, organizers said.
Escape Music Festival
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RED HOOK — A two-day music festival with dozens of performances, food and drink will have thousands of concertgoers descending on Red Hook this fall, organizers said.

Escape Music Festival will make its debut at Pier 9’s Red Hook Container Terminal on Oct. 11 and 12 with organizers hoping to attract 16,000 people to the day-and-night concert series.

Merritt Quirk, the festival’s founder, scoured Brooklyn for the perfect concert venue before he found Pier 9, which sits on the border of Red Hook and the Columbia Street Waterfront District.

The Terminal’s open space and panoramic views of the city ultimately won him over.

“You’re going to see this space become a real cultural hub for Red Hook,” said Quirk, 33, who is the managing director of Balearic Entertainment, an event production company he established last year.

The 19-and-above event will also host an array of food trucks and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic concession stands, according to its website.

Escape will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. and feature 30 musical performances including Placebo, Yeasayer, Ra Ra Riot, Bakermat, ASTR, Neon Indian and STRFKR. Organizers are hoping to sell a maximum of 8,000 tickets for each day of the festival.

“I see Red Hook in a very similar light to where Williamsburg was 10 to 15 years ago,” Quirk said.

Since transportation options to the waterfront neighborhood are limited, Quirk is hoping to bolster ferry and bus service into Red Hook for the festival, he said. He is currently negotiating the possibility of increasing service on the B61 bus, bringing a ferry to Pier 9 from Manhattan and a shuttle to and from Williamsburg.

Quirk hopes the added transit options, plus the influx of festival-goers, will benefit restaurants, bars and shops in Red Hook. He and his team hope to meet with Community Board 6 in August to discuss details of the concert. 

“Anything that we can do to increase transportation infrastructure is a benefit to us and local businesses,” he said.

Limited early bird admission passes are available Escape Music Festival’s website for $80. For a lineup of artists, visit this website.