Brooklyn Vegan – More Than Just Animal Friendly

By: Jeremy Melton

What makes a blog worth reading?  Living in an age of over saturation of nearly every mass media, what does it take to share information with as many people as possible, and still seem relevant?

Whatever sustainability it takes, Brooklyn Vegan has obtained it.  Started by Dave Levine, who remains the blog’s main writer and guiding hand, Brooklyn Vegan made his first post in August of 2004.  Although the first post was just a group of links, it ends up being pretty descriptive of the content of the blog.  Most of the links are to bands, and there are a considerable amount of links to venues located in New York City.  However, within the list are several other categories of links including other blogs, technology sites, and comedians.

Like this piebald list of things New Yorkers might find interesting, the blog maintains a diversified take on the city’s culture. The New York City-focused blog was started as means for Levine (who still prefers to stick to the moniker Brooklyn Vegan) to write about his favorite restaurants that served up cruelty-free dishes, but in the end music became the blog’s main focus.  Expanding from a blog based on what seems to be primarily personal tastes, Brooklyn Vegan has since become more general source for alternative musical culture.

Music now covered on the blog, while still New York-centric, ranges all genres of music.  For instance, in the past week Brooklyn Vegan covered the James Chance and the Contortions reunion show, and then went on to speak about folk artist Sufjan Stevens.  As the blog has expanded, Levine has obtained some editorial help to cover as many areas as possible.  One writer, Black Bubblegum, also known as Fred, focuses strictly on news in Metal.

According to Quantcast, an estimation of visitors to the site averages about 3,100 a day, but numbers have been closer to 5,000 on some days.  Monthly visits total around 40,000 but have reached almost 80,000 on other months.  The demographics of the blog are fairly average for this type of blog with nearly all the readers being Caucasian, college-educated men.  Visitors to the site also tended to visit and Artists Direct immediately after reading the blog.

But what do these numbers mean? For Brooklyn Vegan it means for the fourth year in a row having its own show at the College Music Journal’s annual music festival. This year’s acts featured on the Brooklyn Vegan show included The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Screaming Females, The Blow, Suuns, and Yuck.  Austin music festival SXSW also gave the blog its own day, with this year’s day featuring bands like Cursive, Passion Pit, the Avett Brothers and the legendary Daniel Johnston.

Over the past six years, Brooklyn Vegan has grown from a one man operation covering entertainment news relevant only to New Yorkers to a staple for anyone interested in independent music and comedy.  Whether you’re looking for something to do on a Tuesday night in Brooklyn, or are curious about what bands to watch out for, Brooklyn Vegan has everything you need.


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