Punk Island NYC
Noshi here with a - hopefully - not ramble-y post. (Right.)
We recently went to the Punk Island festival on Randall's Island - you know, the place that's not Governors Island or Roosevelt Island but is still way too big to just be a park? And on top of the surprise scale of this location that kept us driving in circles for 15-20 minutes as first timers looking for the entrance to the Randall Island's Park, we were also surprised at the sheer abundance of positive energy and community. Everybody was there for some type of rock, and everybody was open for another type of rock. I mean, that wasn't clear, but I'll explain soon.
Here's what's written on their "Our Story" on the FB Page:
"Punk Island (P.I.) is led by a collective of artists, curators, musicians, and educators whose goal is to bring the vitality, diversity, and intensity of the various NYC punk scenes together and into the light of day. We are a community of punks who love music and the fans, friends, and family that participate throughout the year to keep our culture true to the lives we want to live. We aim to support a philosophy of creativity and rebellion and we work to feed those who are hungry for a world where passion is valued over profit. We promote counter-culture through our collective, art, music, writing, and events. Punk Island's efforts culminate annually as a free, all ages music festival every June. As a not for profit organization we are funded by Make Music New York, the collective, and the community."
It's certainly prolific, but they mean what they say. And they say what they mean! This festival was a celebration of punk culture (not particularly the specific genre of music), rock music and, really, what it means to be here in 2019. Everything was donated, and everybody that worked was a volunteer. The festival was free, but there were several vendors there including a really good food service that actually accommodated for your 2019 dietary preferences. No, really. I'm serious.
You see, Vabo, Mike V. and I have had three different musical experiences, but ever since we've been a part of Nihil Admirari, there's one thing that stood out. Well... We rarely performed where we were confident that people would even listen to us. And, I mean, I guess that could be said for any artist in any form of media, but we have that one attribute of not sticking enough to the rules of any particular genre. We also certainly don't have a specific genre "look", especially myself.
You guys know the whole spiel by now.
That said, Punk Island was made of an audience that was entirely open. You had the goth lolis dancing next to the math rock metalheads at the pop rock stage. lol Yeah. It was amazing. People just gave music a chance, were really cool and respectful to each other and were just welcoming, in general. I mean, how many outdoor festivals have you been to where people didn't get sh!tfaced or completely trash the area?
So long the stereotypes of "rock fans", thought that one Asian dad who happened upon the festival while innocently hiking the island. I hope he had fun. lol
We actually went to Punk Island to support two of our friends, Cruel Children and Swinging Riot. It was quite the contrast and such a testament to the diversity and inclusivity of this festival. If you guys get the chance, you should check it out next year. It happens once a year during the Summer. And who knows. Maybe we'll be performing next.