What would you trade for a much-needed check-up by a qualified health-care provider, one who understands your lack of insurance and starving-artist economic situation? Would you play a gig for free or volunteer a few hours of community service to a fun cause? Such is the phenomenal model of exchange at the O+ Festival of Art, Music, and Wellness in Kingston, now in its third year of “bartering the art of medicine for the medicine of art.” A generous troupe of doctors, physical therapists, and others will staff a weekend-long clinic to provide free consultation to the musicians, artists, and volunteers who participate in this three-day celebration of music and public art. And it all begins with a parade at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 5, when Hungry March Band will lead the way from the Kirkland Hotel to BSP Lounge in historic Uptown Kingston.
Multiple venues around town will open up their doors all weekend to 40 bands and as many visual and performance artists, including The Felice Brothers and Richard Buckner headlining at the Old Dutch Church on Friday evening. Meanwhile, Acoustic Sun, The Philistines Jr., and The Dead Exs will be at Keegan Ales; Nelsonvillains, It’s Not Night: It’s Space, and Tigeriss will be at BSP; Howard Fishman, Alta Mira, Wygalator, DJ Grasshopper, and Breakfast in Fur will perform at The Stockade Tavern; and Andrea Tomasi and Sasha Pearl will entertain at Elephant.
The Saturday lineup features The Anders Griffen/Otto Hauser Drum Deluge, Jo Schornikow, Life in a Blender, Lovesick, Lucius, Man Forever, Mouth4Rusty, The Broken Stares, DJ Carlos the Sun, Dead Heart Bloom, Graveyard Lovers, Hopewell, Nothing But Wolves, Ratboy Jr. (no wristband required), Rosary Beard, Ryan Ross Smith, Tall Tall Trees, The Parlor, Trummors, Two Dark Birds, and Guardian Alien. And on Sunday, it will be Autovore, Hello Later, Jake Sorgen, Studio Stu (at Boitson’s), The Shoe String Band, and The Sweet Clementines. All-access, all-weekend Festival Wristbands are available for a $25 donation, the advance purchase of which will guarantee a seat at the Felice Brothers/Buckner show.
A free Health Expo will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the LGBTQ Center, where information on disease prevention, nutrition, diabetes care, alternative medicine, organ donation, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV testing will be available at no charge. Participating organizations include Health Care Is a Human Right, ARCS, Institute for Family Health, Planned Parenthood, Health Quest, and many others.
Lots of free activities for all ages will take place, including kids’ music, yoga and tai chi, art and life counseling, art installations and paste-ups, plus a gong bath sound healing session. And on Sunday at 2 p.m., a free screening of The Waiting Room will be held at BSP. This documentary by Peter Nicks focuses on the humanity of publicly funded emergency service providers.
And if you haven’t experienced a T.M.I.dol Story Slam, come check out—or better yet, share your three-minute story—at BSP Saturday night (wristband required or donation at the door, please). The theme is “Strange Medicine: From Bad to Worse,” and the slam winner will get a free massage from Ani Kaiser. For a complete schedule of concerts and events, and to purchase a Festival Wristband or make a donation to O+, visit their website.
The third annual O+ Festival of Art, Music, and Wellness is October 5, 6, and 7 in Uptown Kingston. Opositivefestival.org