Pool Party is the surprising story of an abandoned swimming pool, the largest in New York City that became the most significant music venue since CBGB’s.
Both an indie music showcase and an urban history lesson, Pool Party traces the process of gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn through the story of McCarren Pool.
McCarren Pool opened during the Great Depression in 1936 – one of eleven public pools envisioned by New York’s first Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses. The largest of its kind, McCarren is the size of a football field, with the capacity to hold a staggering 6800 bathers. Built on the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, one of the most diverse corners of Brooklyn, McCarren is the only Depression era pool no longer functioning today.
Abandoned for nearly 25 years, in a now gentrified neighborhood boasting an international music scene, McCarren hosted some of the most beloved music acts for three short summers. Weaving stories of neighborhood residents with never-before-seen archival footage of the New York public pools, the transformation of Williamsburg and McCarren Pool easily translates to gentrified neighborhoods all over the world. Featuring music and performances by Aesop Rock, the Beastie Boys, Black Lips, the Breeders, Deerhunter, The Hold Steady, the Liars, Les Savy Fav, Matt and Kim, MIA, Sonic Youth, Tall Firs, the Ting Tings, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Yo La Tengo,we chronicle the colorful history of McCarren Pool as we celebrate this unique music venue during its final season.