Harvard Square’s 38th annual Oktoberfest and Honk! Parade returns to Cambridge this Sunday (October 9), and like the neighborhood’s Mayfair celebration each spring, the musical lineup is worth checking out while downing a few pints and swinging a few steins.
The free, all day (noon to 6 p.m.) event organized by the Harvard Square Business Association features six live music stages across the square, including a Church Street stage curated by the Sinclair, and a Club Passim stage at the intersection of Brattle and Church streets. To make even the crappy bands sound good, and to help you tolerate the accompanying HONK! Parade, Oktoberfest will offer five beer gardens in the square’s vicinity, hosted by the Sinclair, Alden & Harlow, Charlie’s Kitchen, Grafton Street, and John Harvard’s Brew House.
Throughout the day, Beat Brasserie on Brattle Street will “transform into a Bavarian Beer Hall complete with community tables, German food, a live oompah band, lederhosen, dirndls and of course an amazing selection of German beers”, and Grendel’s Den on Winthrop Street hosts the afterparty with “raucous keg tapping, beer drinking songs, and lederhosen.” Grendel’s will also serve Bavarian food and beer served from 11:30 a.m. onward.
But what about the music? Here’s what’s good.
The Sinclair Church Street stage includes performances by Annabelle Lord-Patey, Mill Pond Falls, Cask Mouse, Jake McKelvie & The Countertops, Radclyffe Hall, and Jesse Dee. Meanwhile, the Passim stage includes Sean Trischka, Lloyd Thayer with Jerome Deupree, The Brother Brothers, Radi0Swan, Mark Kilianski, and Svavar Knútur.
Preview those bands and artists below, and click here for the full schedule of events, including where to catch brassy punks Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band and What Cheer? Brigade.[Note: The Oktoberfest rain date is Monday, October 10.]
Annabelle Lord-Patey, the Sinclair Church Street stage at noon