As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, so many of us are excited for the return of live entertainment. But if you think attending great shows automatically means pricey tickets, we have good news: Really Secret/Very Public (RS/VP).
An idea born out of a house show that organizer Drew Frankel (general manager of Levon Helm Studios and partner of Impact Concerts and Impact Artist Management) held last fall, RS/VP aims to bring affordable events to Kingston. And, despite the name, no RSVP is required. “There seems to be a real thirst for live music in our area that isn’t fully being met,” explains Frankel. “We’re wealthy with incredible local talent, and I want to give artists the chance to perform and collaborate within their own community.”
The first show featured sets from Al Olander, Mikaela Davis, Juka Ren, and James Felice of The Felice Brothers, and was held in February at the Senate Garage in the Stockade District—but it won’t be there every time. Frankel hopes to get these shows rolling monthly in a variety of venues around the city. Admission to the February show was free and drinks were pay-what-you-can. Cash contributions were collected inside the venue in a pass-the-hat format (Venmo was accepted, too), and all proceeds went toward paying the musicians, the poster designer, and the sound engineer who donated the PA system. According to Frankel, this system worked well at the Senate Garage, but might evolve a bit depending on future venues and audience sizes.
While Frankel’s day job at Impact involves managing artists and producing concerts, his RS/VP passion project is decidedly smaller and more casual. “The whole concept is that it’s way more informal,” says Frankel. “It’s just me managing at the moment, but it really feels like it comes together with help from all parts of the community.”
Now that you’re in the know, follow @rsvpkingston on Insta for info on the next show.
Related: How to Display Art Effectively in Your Hudson Valley Home