Earlier this week, I joined a crew of volunteers who were touring the Silo City grounds to get their bearings prior to this weekend’s City of Night event. The massive grain silos were as hauntingly beautiful from inside as I expected, which made it even more exciting to think about what will unfold when they play host to our city’s talented artists and musicians on Saturday night.
For one night last fall, the silos were awakened from their industrial slumber as over 3,000 people wandered the grounds, taking in a diverse exhibition of art, music, culture, history and sustainability. Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo (ELAB) had organized a single evening celebrating Buffalo’s rising cultural power on the very site where its industrial might once reigned.
No longer rookies at coordinating such a massive undertaking, City of Night’s organizers are planning to attract over twice as many people this year. Installations, performances, vendors and activities will be taking place throughout the grounds—both within the iconic structures and in the areas outside.
“We’ve ironed out the kinks and added exciting new elements,” said Dana Saylor, the event’s coordinator. “New spaces to explore, an interactive map to guide you through the site, a light garden of installations, community art project, kayak rentals, rock climbing in a grain elevator, an artist catalogue and other merchandise, and a VIP space. Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo is proud to coordinate this massive event that transformed so many people’s perception of art and industrial heritage in 2012. We anticipate double the crowd this time around.”
464 gallery will be hosting an art fair in the American Warehouse, with around 40 different artists in multiple disciplines purveying their work. Visitors can also enjoy site-specific art installations inside the grain silos and on the grounds. In the Amphitheatre area located alongside the Buffalo River, live theater and dance acts will unfold. There will also be a main stage set up in the courtyard area where local musicians will perform sets throughout the night.
Several of the city’s food trucks will be parked right in the middle of the action to keep guests fed. Included in the line-up are Lloyd’s Taco Truck, The Whole Hog, Rolling Joe’s, Roaming Buffalo, Thai Me Up and Amy’s Truck. There will also be a beverage tent selling beer, wine, and soda.
Keeping the focus on sustainability, City of Night will be composting, recycling and utilizing biodegradable cups for beverages. The main stage will also be powered by solar panels. Organizers are encouraging guests to bike to the event if possible. GOBike Buffalo will be hosting guided bicycle rides to the event from Shea’s on Main Street, which will depart at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. They’ll also be offering a bike valet at the event so guests can have their bikes securely stored while they wander the grounds. NFTA will also provide a special bus route from Mohawk and Washington to Childs Street which will run from 7 to 11 p.m.
The event is free to attend and will take place Saturday, Aug. 17 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Silo City is located at 200 Childs St. For more event details and updates, check out the City of Night Facebook page or visit their website for maps and contact info.
Check out this behind the scenes video to learn more about the event:
Photo credited to W. Smyers Photography.