And one strategy that has paid off is the combination of film and live music. The Wordless Music Orchestra, for example, performs scores at screenings around the country; it will next play two nights of “Phantom Thread” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, both of which have sold out. Orchestras like the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra rely on screenings of classics like “An American in Paris” and “The Lord of the Rings” to fill their houses every season, while boutique theaters like Nitehawk Cinema bring in musicians to complement their bespoke cocktails.
But the music at Interference AV will skew far from the string arrangements or throwback jams often heard at movie theaters.
“It’s an opportunity to really test the audience and their understanding of what’s going on,” Alanna Heiss, the founder of Clocktower, said of the lineup.
The Sun Ra Arkestra, the fabled free jazz ensemble, embraces volcanic bursts and entropic rambling; the electronic musician JLin creates skittish footwork beats that favor only the bravest and most experienced dancers. And the Rhode Island-based noise rock band Lightning Bolt is famed for concerts that often occur in tiny, clandestine spaces, where a crush of jittery bodies surround the band on all sides.
Brian Chippendale, its drummer, plans to lean into the strange contrast between this performance space and his scrappier ventures: He and the bass guitarist Brian Gibson will devise an improvised and likely more sedate set to match the mood from those seated in the plush red seats.
“I think the scene will most definitely be off in some way; I don’t mind that,” Mr. Chippendale said. The band is prepared to find its own source of energy rather than depend on a rowdy crowd, he added. “We’re just this little band that drove over in our rickety van, and we’re battling it out in the belly of the beast. I could conjure up some ‘Moby Dick’ scenario to get energized.”
He also plans to draw inspiration from the video projections, which will be created by the artists Peter Burr and Sabrina Ratté from the Undervolt & Co. arts collective. Using digital and analog equipment, they will take turns mixing videos on the fly to match the music’s mood; Ms. Ratté’s work is often characterized by serene, colorful undulations, while Mr. Burr opts for twitchy, near-seizure-inducing patterns.
“I’ve always wanted my work to be scalable: You can rock out a basement, but can also rock out the MoMA or a multiplex in Times Square,” Mr. Burr said.
Festivalgoers will be given wristbands in the lobby to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd. But the culture clash is sure to be startling: curious tourists and couples on a date night mixing with devout jazz heads, punks and artists venturing to the heart of the city.
“Maybe for an hour, it’ll feel like there’s some kind of zombie apocalypse, and this is the only place left,” Mr. Chippendale said.