Whoa, what a Trip first fest was!

Suzanne Vega headlined The Village Trip concert in Washington Square Park this past Saturday evening. Photos by Tequila Minsky

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | The inaugural Village Trip festival brought a mix of classic folk music, literature, storytelling and photography back to town for four days last week, from Thursday to Sunday.

A highlight was the festival’s free concert in Washington Square Park Saturday evening, featuring headliner Suzanne Vega. The singer-songwriter played a variety of new and vintage tunes, including her 1980s smash hits, “Tom’s Diner” and “Luka.”

Vega said she hoped the festival — and the concert in the park — would be back for a second installment next year.

The festival also included a talk on the writings of Jack Kerouac and Edna St. Vincent Millay at the Jefferson Market Library, which included the world premiere of David Amram’s work “Greenwich Village Portraits.” Amram, 87, who was buddies with Kerouac and the Village Beats, was the festival’s artist-in-residence. The library event was jam-packed.

David Amram played a jazzy number before Suzanne Vega hit the stage — and concluded by urging the crowd to always retain that spark of Greenwich Village creativity within themselves.

Sunday night saw another concert — though not free, $25 a ticket — at The Bitter End, featuring Happy Traum, Tom Chapin, the Chapin Sisters, David Massengill and others.

The event was the brainchild of Liz Thomson, a British woman with a love affair with the Village and its culture and history. Thomson, who formerly worked in publishing, frequently visited the Village over the years for work, and always stayed at the Washington Square Hotel, which was like the headquarters for the festival.

“To see the dream become reality was truly thrilling,” Thomson reflected of the Trip’s first edition. “And to have so many people remark that such a festival was long overdue made it all feel worthwhile.

“Thank you to all our wonderful musicians, actors and speakers; to our sponsors and partners; and to all those who supported The Village Trip in this its first year and helped make it happen.

“Here’s to The Village Trip 2019.”

The all-ages crowd dug the tunes at the free concert.

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