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MiA: Music & Art Mesh @ Buffalo Riverworks

Buffalo Riverworks turns out to be the perfect home for Music is Art (MiA) this past Saturday. After years of searching for the right venue – one that was large enough and offered indoor and outdoor escapes – Robby Takac (bassist for the GooGoo Dolls and founder of MiA) has found the ideal setting for his festival. Not only is the festival setting able to accommodate 21 stages (over 200 bands), the industrial setting along the Buffalo River is an incredible backdrop for the festivities.

The “Hope Rising Buffalo” stage

Seeing that it’s impossible to take everything in at the day-long event, we decided to pick and choose our poisons. After walking the entire grounds a couple of times, we found ourselves gravitating back to the 6-Pack Stage, the 716 Sideshow Stage, and the Pyramid Stage (located under the Buffal”O”). We also spent a good amount of time at Refringement (in the 30-Pack silo).

Sonic Wranglers

I must say that the sound and lighting arrangements at Refringment were mind blowing. The orchestrators utilized the cavernous spaces in spellbinding ways – the caliber of installations far exceeded our expectations. Per usual, the MiA team put their heart and soul into the monstrous undertaking, and the hard work paid off. Not to mention the ‘people watching,’ which is always a highlight of the day.

“I saw so many different kinds of people from so many different walks of life put aside their differences and biases for the day to celebrate the arts and life together, it was such a nice moment after the last year of craziness we’ve all been through together!” – Robby Takac

Have you ever stopped to think about what Buffalo would be like without Robby Takac? Seriously – when you take a look at his steadfast devotion to his hometown, it’s impressive. A lot of rockers have come and gone, and yes, some have stuck around and have done good things for Buffalo. But Robby is on another level. He is the real deal. He’s the product of his environment – his music embodies the city that he loves.

MiA host and epic Buffalo booster, Robby Takac

He left, came back, and didn’t just stick around – he decided that he was going to dedicate himself to the city where he got his start. It’s amazing to see someone make it so big, and humbly settle down here. It’s even more amazing when someone with that sort of star power uses his or her clout and credentials to amplify a message. And Robby’s message comes in the form of MiA. Music and art are powerful tools in the right hands. Fortunately, Robby enables everyone to wield the same superpowers that he possesses.

Speaking of superpowers, Mother Nature was very kind to MiA this year – the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The sunny day… the dramatic fiery-orange moon rising in the sky as the sun set beyond the silos… everything appeared to be firing on all cylinders, including the non-stop array of amazing DJs, bands, and musicians. Not to mention the oddball characters, some of which were planned, while others magically appeared on their own.

Nickel City Wrestling – pro wrestling school

Congratulations to Robby and the MiA team for rocking and rolling in such a phenomenal manner. I’m already looking forward to MiA in 2022, at which time the Buffal”O” will be in operational mode. The lights were on this past Saturday, but the Ferris wheel attraction remained stationary. It would have been great to see it in action during the event, but there will be plenty of time to appreciate Buffalo Riverworks’ carnival side in years to come.


Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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