By Scott Hoffmann

At this point in its existence, Toad’s Place in New Haven needs little to no introduction. For the past 40 years, the legendary venue has housed acts across every imaginable genre, including artists such as the Rolling Stones, Snoop Dogg, U2, and hundreds more. While the nightclub does a great job of bringing in national acts, the team has never shied away from understanding what makes the music scene tick right here in Connecticut. Toad’s Place’s affinity for hosting local music was as apparent as ever on Sunday, May 24th for the New Haven Music Festival. Brought on by Gorilla Music, a booking agency specializing in local music, attendees enjoyed an astonishing wealth of acts coming together for a jam-packed eight hours of live entertainment. Occupying both the main room and the Lilly’s Pad upstairs, local acts came through with their best talents to put on a great show for all of the friends, families, and fans.



Genres ranging from acoustic to indie pop to heavy rock and more were represented across the night, with each artist bringing their own twist to the table in a collective effort to represent the Connecticut and New Haven music scenes in an eclectic and inspiring way. North Haven based MOSH YELLS (pictured above, middle) brought along friends Joe Alicastro and Josie Kulp for a soulful and intimate set in the Lilly’s Pad, while East Hampton’s The Merks captivated the main room with a super fun indie rock set, rounding it off with their unique take on Drake’s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’.



From the emotive alternative band Kalimur to indie rock/pop crew Mandala to bluesy singer/songwriter Kyle Duke, a variety of tastes were catered to and there really was something for everyone at the event. From 4pm all the way through to midnight, crowds packed in to enjoy their favorite local musicians and to learn about someone new. Here’s a list of all of the amazing artists from the night:

Jay Gerrish
Mile Marker Zero
Kyle Duke
Sean O’Reilly Band
Bonsai Trees
The Merks
Nate Ginnetty
Dogs of Moscow
New Amsterdam Nobles
Danger Zone
Charles Paul
Mystic Seahorse
The 30th of February
Dutch Masters
Say What
Me, Like Many

This night was a shining light for CT creatives, and all of the up-and-coming artists featured are most definitely forces to be reckoned with. This harboring of a space in which musicians can represent themselves and deliver their art is an integral part of keeping local scenes thriving, and the New Haven Music Festival was an incredible act of advocacy for the continued support of Connecticut-born music.

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Scott Hoffmann

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