Farewell to the Siren Music Festival

The Village Voice’s Siren Music Festival marked a major milestone last year when it hit its tenth anniversary of bringing live music to Coney Island. With two stages, each year featured fourteen bands, mostly from the indie rock or experimental genres. While the festival featured some well-known headliners, it also showcased many up-and-coming bands and was a great opportunity to be exposed to new music.

The Siren Festival will always hold a special place in my heart because the 2008 festival was the first music event that I photographed with an official press pass. It was really the start of everything you see on this website. For the past three summers, it was a tradition for me to make the annual subway ride out to Coney Island for the festival. Siren always seemed to take place on the hottest day of the year, and it was an exhausting day in the sun, but I always enjoyed it.

Two of my favorite moments from the three festivals that I attended were Monotonix playing in (and on) the crowd in 2009, as shown above, and Matt and Kim’s photogenic performance in 2010. (Full Matt and Kim gallery here.)

This Saturday would have been the 11th annual Siren Festival. In its place, The Village Voice is now putting on the 4Knots Music Festival, which will be held at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan. I am hopeful that the 4Knots Festival will carry on the legacy of the Siren Festival…and maybe provide a little more shade.

To see a full gallery of my favorite photos from the last three years of the Siren Festival click here.

For more information on the 4 Knots Music Festival, you can visit their website.


  1. Bumpershine July 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Ah, yes, where it all started. But wasn’t this shot also a highlight? http://bit.ly/noijrY

    • jonklemm July 16, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

      Yep, that made the gallery of Siren favorites. I think Ra Ra Riot got a few new male fans from that one!

  2. CookyMonzta July 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    I am not one to declare an almost-legendary festival dead that easy, especially one that has drawn as many as 150,000 in the past (2003/04), probably the largest music festival/concert that Brooklyn has ever had.. There is room enough for both Siren and 4Knots to coexist in the summer, is there? Moving Siren out of Coney Island and out of Brooklyn was like cutting a big piece of Brooklyn out of Brooklyn.

    Only one solution: If the Voice cannot or will not be the main sponsor of Siren anymore, why not bring in a new group of sponsors and indie music organizers to invest in the revival of Siren at Coney Island? And perhaps, can these new sponsors put on a show with as little input as possible from the new fat-cat owners of Coney Island, who might have been the reason why the Voice decided to leave Coney?

    I wouldn’t drown the 3-headed girl that is the symbol of Siren just yet. With any luck, it’ll be back within te next 2 years.

  3. jonklemm July 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I’m with you. It would be great if the Village Voice, or someone else, could bring Siren back. I caught a few hours of 4Knots. It was a decent music festival, but it didn’t compare to Siren. It felt to me like any other show at South Street Seaport – definitely a much smaller event than Siren.