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HONK!United- A Worldwide Celebration of Activist Street Bands

HONK!United- A Worldwide Celebration of Activist Street Bands

1 Davis Square, Somerville

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This month's latest exhibit in the Inside-OUT Gallery featuring a photographic retrospective of HONK! bands from around the globe. The need to connect is more important than ever and music has a way of bring us solace and joy in uncertain times.  HONK!United, a virtual worldwide rally for activist street bands is a week long celebration of music from around the globe. The vast array of bands, organizations, and individuals -- all part of the extensive HONK! community -- are thrilled to present this unique opportunity to be involved for this special event. Join the virtual party from October 5-11. For timely updates, visit the official HONK!United website:

Performers include musicians from number includes 76 bands (many USA-based, plus groups from Moscow, Antarctica, Rome, Uganda, Perth, Rio, Berlin, etc.), 10 submissions from various HONK! Festivals (their on-site locations include London, Seattle, Ontario, Austin, NYC, etc.), and 2 large regional proposals (as in, the state of Colorado and the city of New Orleans).

What is HONK!United ?

It is this year’s necessary online solution, in order to sustain and move forward a now 15-year worldwide movement, one that was first established as the HONK! Festival of activist street bands in Somerville, MA (USA) in 2006.

That first year in Somerville started out as a modest on-site gathering, consisting of 12 unplugged outdoor street bands, mostly local. It was thought of as being more of a home-spun rally, organized by like-minded raucous musical spirits, who all were (and still are) bound and determined to actively make the world a better and more peaceful place, by playing music in the streets to affect social change.

From those humble HONK! beginnings, a huge ripple effect was launched, with similar on-site HONK!s taking hold in many worldwide spots. The HONK! camaraderie is contagious and the networking is vast and vibrant. So much so, that in 2019, over 20 annual on-site HONK! festivals took place, in locations spread over 4 continents. And last year, those humble Somerville HONK! organizers hosted their 14th annual festival, with 25 plus bands, hailing from as near as Somerville, and as far flung as Berlin, Belo Horizonte (BR), Chicago, Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Madison (Wis.).

Fast forward to 2020, to the 6th annual HONK! Oz, held on-site in Wollongong, Australia, who were fortunate enough to hold their annual gathering in mid-January. And then? Crickets for the rest of this year? Not a chance, because when it comes to the now vast network of HONK! affiliates, all eager to still gather and share their united musical energies, particularly in this year of years, any method used to convene is just fine.

And ironically enough, those HONK! bands who have never been in a position to physically travel to an organized on-site HONK! Festival can now attend one, and enjoy the very satisfying exchange of music, stories, and solutions, that come about during every HONK!

The HONK!United organizers, based in Somerville, MA (USA), have developed and expanded the upcoming online HONK! experience, that not only can accommodate a large number of musical participants, either pre-recorded or streamed live, but will also allow for participation in a variety of online HONK! workshops (most of which will be open to the public).

HONK!United’s statement of purpose can be found specifically at It ends with: “Together we are HONK!United.” Indeed.

Many thanks to the City of Somerville and the Somerville Arts Council for their generous support.

HONK!United   October 5-11, 2020

Virtual worldwide festival of activist street bands.
The public is welcome to attend.
Free (donations appreciated).
For further information and continuous updates:
HONK!United is organized by the HONK! Festival,
based in Somerville MA (USA):

About the Inside-Out Gallery
Initiated in 2009, The Inside-Out Gallery is located in the CVS Window in Davis Square, a unique space that allows the public to view an eclectic array of works from artists and local organizations each month. The mission of the Somerville Arts Council is to cultivate and celebrate the creative expressions of the Somerville community. Through innovative collaborations and quality programming we work to make the arts an integral part of life reflective of our diverse city.