Freewater, hosted its first annual “Freewater Block Party” on Saturday, September 28th at Mardi Gras World in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. Freewater is a multimedia company and creative agency that was founded by Frankie Watts and Dominick “Mardi” Byrd in 2015. The block party had two music stages, both indoor and outdoor, and had sets from such artists as RL Grime, DaBaby, Rico Nasty, What So Not, Graves, TVBOO, Mhadi G, Kenneth Brother, Trigem, Stone Cold Jzzle, Lango and Nameless, emphasizing FREEWATER and Winter Circle Productions interest in blending hip hop and dance genres. The event also included art installations, food vendors such as Barrow’s Catfish and We Dats Chicken and Shrimp, beverage vendors, custom interactive experiences, and exclusive merchandise releases.
A portion of all event proceeds went to the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a free after-school music program for middle school and high school students in New Orleans. Founded in 2014, Upbeat Academy focuses on hip-hop dance music production and performance, and the organization has expanded to include over 300 student artists. The Block Party also featured Humidity New Orleans Skate Expo, where skaters from the area showed skating tricks and abilities. A Sneaker Politics “Playhouse” was also there, with interactive inflatables, outdoor games and a celebrity dunk tank.
When asked what was the inspiration behind the event, Co-Founder Evan McNulty had this to say, “To be honest, this just feels like the most natural part of our progression. We’ve been spending a lot of time over the last few years hosting events of varying sizes to help strengthen the community we cater to in the city”
” After we can back from Bonnaroo, it just felt right to take the next event to levels we haven’t taken an event to before. So we partnered with Winter Circle Productions and decided to bring don some the the industry’s top acts,” McNulty said.
The event itself was full of color, music, and vibes as the artists on both stages went and performed their sets.Rico Nasty was especially a treat because of how genuine she was behind the stage it was almost as she was just an attendee, stopping to take photos with fans as well as letting some of photographers in the pit such as myself get solo shots of her. The artists who performed outside like Kenneth’s Brother were very hype and engaged with the crowd the whole performance, which I also met the media team for freewater while in the pit and they were some of the nicest, most professional group of young creatives I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to see what else Freewater produces in the future as well as the next Freewater Block Party next year.