Smash It Dead is an important fest for the local punk and DIY communities, but on a larger scale, it is also an integral part of a wide-spanning global community of punk musicians, writers, artists, and activists dedicated to opening up space for marginalized folks, and expanding the discourse about safer spaces and inclusion. Smash It Dead is just one of many weekend fests that will occur over the next year. Below, read up on three other upcoming festivals with similar goals: C.L.I.T. Fest in Austin, Fed Up Fest in Chicago, and Think And Die Thinking in San Jose, California.
C.L.I.T. Fest Austin, May 16-18, 2014
Like the longer-running tradition of roving Ladyfests, Combating Latent Inequality Together a/k/a C.L.I.T. Fest is a similarly decentralized sort of festival, popping up in a different city every year, with line-ups usually focused on punk and hardcore. The first C.L.I.T. Fest was in Minneaplois in 2004, and since then the fest has also happened in Richmond, Chicago, L.A., Portland, D.C., New Brunswick, and probably other places. This year, the festival happens in Austin for the first time. As their organizers explain: “CLIT Fest is a three-day event focusing on the intersection of music, DIY culture, and activism as a means of building a safe, welcoming community for marginalized people and their allies. We stand united against sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, sex negativity, body shaming and all other forms of oppression and discrimination.” The line-up has yet to surface online, but if its anything like CLIT Fests of years past, it should be rad. You can stay up-to-date on CLIT Fest Austin via their Tumblr, or email the organizers: Sydney at CLITFestAustin@gmail.com.
Fed Up Fest, Chicago, July 25-27 2014
FED UP FEST is a new Chicago tradition, a three-day queer-core fest featuring bands and showcases that highlight queer and transgender voices in punk. “By organizing FED UP FEST we hope to engage our communities in a dialogue that will work to confront and challenge the perpetuation of oppression and abuse in our scenes, and to help create stronger and more sustainable bonds between and across radical queer and punk communities,” write the organizers in their mission statement. “Due to underlying homophobic and transphobic tendencies, the presence of queer and trans people in punk scenes is so frequently a site of volatility. By solidifying our presence and voices through solidarity and with consistent radical frameworks, that center marginalized voices, we can help confront the oppressive attitudes that pervade our scenes on structural and personal levels.” Stay updated on FED UP FEST via their Tumblr , or email the collective: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think and Die Thinking Fest, San Jose, 2015
Think and Die Thinking is an annual festival that started in 2011 in San Jose, CA, focusing on featuring youth, queers, punks, radicals, and trans-folk. “The aim is not to centralize influence, but to empower every single member in the community,” the organizers write on their website, “allowing them to realize that they are effective and they can make a difference.”
Two of the collective members, Christine Tupou and Jenna Marx of Crabapple (who also play Smash It Dead next weekend) wrote to us in an email:
“Starting a large, annual project is a daunting task and something that requires the dedication of your precious free time. One thing we made sure to emphasize at this past year's Think and Die Thinking is that no one had to be there. They chose to, for whatever reason, participate in something that was different than the other shows we attend throughout the year. Fests like these take a lot more hard work and planning to make happen year after year. It was the kind of response that we got from organizing Think and Die Thinking that made us want to immediately participate in something like Smash it Dead. It reaffirmed our dedication to see a group of folks on the other side of the country expand on similar ideas we had about what punk could feel like.”
“We also see a necessity in creating bridges between like-minded groups and creating support,” they continued. “Support that transcends distance, both geographically and socially, is imperative to our survival. Celebrating difference instead of shutting ourselves off is a practice and fests like these help ease the alienation. Thank you, Smash it Dead and others of the like, for giving us the opportunity to participate in a space that prioritizes diversity and inclusivity so far away from home. Everyone is invited to attend the next Think and Die Thinking (2015) in San Jose, California.”
Follow Think And Die Thinking on Facebook for updates, or email the collective at: ThinkAndDieThinking@gmail.com.