When someone thinks of New York art, music and culture, 9 times out 10 their mind instantly jumps to New York City. But what many don’t realize, is that the millennials of Buffalo are putting the city on the map.
Moving from New York City to Buffalo four years ago, I had no idea what the city had to offer. Growing up so accustomed to the hustle and bustle, never ending movement of the city, Buffalo appeared to be nothing but a ghost town. It wasn’t until I started meeting the natives that I realized how many talented people, especially people of color, there really are out here.
This year’s first annual Beau Fleuve Music and Art Festival was the culmination of all the things the Buffalo culture scene has to offer. With three stages, vendors, a silent disco party, speaker panels and a car show, there was plenty to see, tons of good music and overall nothing but good vibes.
For Lindsey Taylor, organizing Beau Fleuve was all about giving Buffalo its own space to showcase its excellence. “It was the idea for Buffalo to have it’s own music and arts festival to call its own that represents Buffalo all the way through, 100% homegrown.”
Performers included local artists such as, OG Sole (@whobutog), Hitch Burney (@hitch_burney) and Truey V (@truey_v). They have used their music to create a name for themselves around Buffalo and beyond. All of their music can be found on SoundCloud.
Venzella Joy (@joythedrummer), an artist and Beyonce’s drummer, performed as well. As a Buffalo native she came out to show love to her hometown and also promote her new album, Stealth.
A good friend of mine and long time rapper Chase, also known as Billie Essco (@uptownchase), closed out the festival. His album Gallery is currently on Apple Music. His new project Cafè will be dropping soon.
Also in attendance were various artists and painters, including Tyshaun Tyson, also known as The Left-Handed Bandit, and Jalen Law (@jay_icctt). Law introduced The Still Series, a collection of oil paintings inspired by Jay-Z’s The Story of O.J. music video. Law is currently selling limited edition Still Series t-shirts.
Walking from stage to stage, watching the performances, it was clear that this festival was about more than just music. There was a vibe of community, and celebrating each other’s art. Many of these artists are using their talents to rep their city and to speak their truth. Even more than that, Beau Fleuve gave people the chance to create connections and build bonds.
“It influences me personally because I’m always learning. I want to pride myself on being a life learner and be able learn about their culture, their music, their art, and their ideas,” Taylor said. “When you can learn from others you make a bigger impact.”
Taylor plans to continue the festival next year and beyond. He hopes the festival will help spread the buffalo culture throughout Western New York and beyond. “I want to see people from all corners of North America and across the world to come here to use our platform to gain exposure and embrace OUR culture of Buffalo and Western New York,” he said.
Most importantly, he hopes for the festival to become a platform for Buffalo artists to expand to even bigger and better things.
“We are in a good place right now in our music and arts scene,” Taylor said. “I want for us to come together and work together even more.”