New York Magazine’s Arts & Events section published an article yesterday on the rivalry between the producers and patrons of Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival and those of David Bowie’s High Line Festival. Both festivals are set in New York City in the very near future.

The article suggests that the friction springs from the contrasting audiences of old and snobby rich folks versus young and sulky hipsters. The writer quotes an unnamed insider as saying “I hear it’s driving [63-year-old] Robert De Niro crazy, and that’s just great because he’s a big old wrinkled thug versus these young guys.” Young guys refers to High Line producers David Binder and Josh Wood, who are in their 30s.

I’m not sure I buy it. It sounds to me like an attempt to stir up controversy where there is none. After all, the Tribeca Film Festival starts today and ends before the High Line begins, so culture-starved city dwellers have the opportunity to attend both. Tribeca producer Jane Rosenthal plans to do just that.

Still, the two pressing questions most of us have about the High Line Festival are, one, what project is keeping Bowie from performing at it? And two, why did it take so long for the festival promotion to begin? The article sheds some light on the latter question. Apparently, the High Line producers attempted to hire the same PR firm as the Tribeca Film Festival, an outfit named Rubenstein. Rubenstein ruminated on the decision of whether or not to promote the High Line Festival for a good long while before they ultimately declined. Some think it was a conspiracy, a deliberate ploy to curtail interest in the High Line Festival.

Maybe. But if that’s true, I think the High Line producers deserve some blame for picking Rubenstein in the first place. If the High Line is seriously geared toward a young, hip audience, I think the most appropriate promotion would have been innovative, on par with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare or Year Zero’s discarded bathroom flash drives. If Rubenstein was taking its sweet time with an answer, the High Line producers could easily have pursued a different promoter.

The New York Post also ran a bit about this in their gossip column today. They quoted David Bowie as saying, “I am afraid I have no control over the inexplicable comments from the High Line producers. I think the Tribeca Film Festival is unique and irreplaceable.” He and Iman attended the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival last night and were photographed with De Niro, according to Bowienet. I haven’t seen any photos of them together, but unless they’re strangling one another in them, I think this story is total bunk.

2 Responses to “NYC’s Not Big Enough for Two Festivals?”

  1. Webmaster Says:

    Contrary to Bowienet’s report, the New York Post’s gossip column claimed today that during the Tribeca Vanity Fair Party, “David Bowie and wife Iman steered clear of Robert DeNiro and wife Grace Hightower.” They also added a funny photo of Bowie and Iman making faces at the event.

  2. Webmaster Says:

    Access Hollywood has confirmed that this story is bollocks. DeNiro and Bowie were seen hugging at the Vanity Fair Party. And DeNiro was quoted as saying this entire “story was bull. The more festivals the better. They all help New York.”