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4Knots rises from ashes of Coney Island's Siren Fest


Yeasayer Credit: Handout

After a decade of rocking the seashore, The Village Voice's Siren Fest has said goodbye to Coney Island.

The two-stage, all-day indie music festival - taking place this Saturday - has been retooled and renamed 4Knots, a one-stage extravaganza at the South Street Seaport.

"We decided after 10 years of doing Siren that we would try something new," said event director Rosemary Raposo.

Siren used to draw more than 100,000 people to Coney Island each year.

This year's all-day, all-ages event will consist of one outdoor stage on Pier 17 and a DJ lounge, which will feature sets by the likes of Yeasayer and Dan Deacon. But the festival team's commitment to indie rock remains the same - they're even using the same booker as they did for Siren. The biggest change will be the location.

But they've had help adjusting to their new home. The organizers were actually invited there by the folks who produce the Seaport Music Festival, which hosts concerts on Pier 17 Fridays and Sundays throughout the summer.

"We've always been fans of the Voice and of Siren," said Stephen Dima, founder of the SMF. "In a city full of sharks, they always seemed to be cool people."

Dima reached out to the Voice earlier this year to see about producing some shows together.

"Things clicked quickly from there, and in a short period of time, 4Knots was born," he said.

The SMF and the Voice have high hopes for their partnership, and if this year goes well, 4Knots intends to make its home at the Seaport for years.

That's not to say that the organizers won't miss Coney.

"Coney Island was such a great home for us. We're really thankful for the 10 years we had there," Raposo said. She also didn't write off the possibility that Siren could return in the future.

"We're not saying that that event is never going to happen again - we're just trying something new for 2011," she said.

Coney Island mourns lost concert
Manhattanites may be rejoicing that they don't have to travel out to Coney Island to attend The Village Voice's annual music festival this year, but Coney Islanders are regretfully saying goodbye.

"We want it back," said Dick Zigun, founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow.

The atmosphere at Coney will be difficult to top. Islanders insist that the touristy and plastic exterior of the Seaport won't provide the extra "oomph" that the boardwalk, aquarium and beach provided for the Siren's 10-year run.

For a community looking toward revitalization, the loss of the Siren festival, one of the two major annual events held at Coney Island each year, makes that goal more difficult to achieve.
"It was a big day and a big turnout, and now it's just gone," said Michael Sarrel, co-owner of Ruby's Bar and Grill. (CHRISTINE DISTASIO)

If you go: 4Knots is at Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport Saturday, 1-8 p.m., FREE. All ages welcome.

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