Massive Experimental Music Hub National Sawdust to Open in Williamsburg

Image by Bureau V via

A century-old sawdust factory in Williamsburg has been transformed into National Sawdust, a 13,000-square-foot music venue that will open its doors on October 1st. From the sound of the inaugural lineup, the place could become something of the BAM of Williamsburg. 

A $16 million renovation equipped the former factory with a chamber hall, a recording studio, and a restaurant, run by James Beard Award-winning chef Patrick Connolly. The 350-capacity concert hall will host an eclectic bunch of classical, jazz, and experimental performers, from Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq to Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire.

The non-profit, run by the composer Paola Prestini, has just announced their inaugural lineup. It features appearances by composers like Nico Muhly, Theo Bleckmann, and Bryce Dessner, as well as a show by beloved 90s rock band Cibo Matto.  National Sawdust will also honor composers John Zorn and Terry Riley in separate festivals in early October.

Photo credit: Bureau V

In addition to music and dance performances, the venue will host an Artists in Residence program, as well as special talks, including a Directors’ Series and a Writers’ Series.

National Sawdust (via
Photo credit: Bureau V

While many still mourn former Williamsburg DIY venues like 285 Kent and Death By Audio, the opening of a venue like this one suggests the neighborhood’s creative soul isn’t yet dead, just aging a little.

See the full lineup at


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