Massive Experimental Music Hub National Sawdust to Open in Williamsburg


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.


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

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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