ABOUT THE FESTIVALS
The MEGAPOLIS Audio Festival is a multi-day site-specific event for creating, experimenting with, and experiencing sound. Artists including documentarians, technologists, musicians, educators, urban planners, scientists, and radio producers come together to celebrate the audio medium and to encourage each other to push the boundaries of sound, art, and thought. MEGAPOLIS artists typically feature works that are new, collaborative, and responsive to the urban environment within the host city.
The inaugural festival sprang forth from Cambridge+Boston, MA on April 24-26, 2009; the second festival kicked it up in Baltimore, MD on May 14-16, 2010; the third blew the gates off NYC on April 19-21, 2013; the fourth fest did a jig in Oakland+SF from June 5-7, 2015; and the most recent fifth fest threw it down in Philadelphia from September 16-17, 2017.
Here’s what all the best people had to say about us (more in our Press section):
“The nation’s best audio art festival and conference.” – The Measure by L Magazine
“What makes Megapolis unique is its organizing idea: audio as a creative worker’s primary medium, a broad net that opens the fest up to both sound artists and radio programmers, experimental musicians and DIY circuit benders.” – Baltimore City Paper
“The inspiration is two-pronged: to show appreciation for great work already being done, and to invite festivalgoers to work on weekend projects and audio pranks that will turn the city into a life-size sound stage.” – The Boston Phoenix
“This is what gives sound art its incomprehensible name; and, this exemplifies sound art as a relevant and vigorous exercise.” – Splice Today
“I loved how Cambridge became our convention center, how we melded into the city, and in so doing got a deeper understanding of the community itself.” – Jesse Dukes, radio producer, 2009 presenter
“An all-star lineup.” – Art Threat
Image courtesy of citylab.com
The word Megapolis (more commonly Megalopolis) was a term coined by futurist Herman Kahn in a 1967 essay describing the metropolitan area of Boston to that of Washington, D.C. as one single giant urban organism. For those in this “BosWash” Megapolis today, Chinatown buses are like public transportation and the brief stretches of forest between cities are simply large parks. The United States is rapidly becoming a map of megalopolis regions, as massive infrastructural integration equals unparalleled potential for collaboration and creative exploration within a geographic area.
The MEGAPOLIS Audio Festival examines the sonic landscape of the sprawling urban environment by showcasing artists and documentarians based in a single megalopolis alongside visitors to the region. We particular focusing on the cross-pollination of knowledge championed by audio enthusiasts from different disciplines such as music, radio, installation, and film. Performances, workshops, and presentations are scattered throughout small galleries, university halls, outdoor spaces, and sometimes living rooms within one particular mega-neighborhood. As an attendee at the MEGAPOLIS Festival you are not a member of a passive audience — you’re actively adding context to what’s coming into your ears.