Getting people together the original way, through punk with the First Black and Brown Punk Fest in Texas.
This year Texas had its first Black and Brown Punk Fest organized by Xingonas in the Pit member Daisy Salinas. I caught up with Daisy to learn more about the fest. She says having a space for black and brown punk musicians in Texas, especially San Antonio, was long overdue. San Antonio is 50% brown and 7% black.
Daisy Salinas says she almost gave up on punk 5 years ago when the white band scene was doing everything to exclude her and avoid affirming her as an artist. Now 5 years later she is glad that she didn’t give up on punk. “POC have always been punk and it was time to tear down the white music scene instead of asking for a seat at the table. I am so glad my younger self didn’t give up on punk because now I can create a space for people who are disillusioned.”
Using GoFundMe this festival was completely crowdsourced. Daisy said this allowed the festival to be intimate and spontaneous, which is totally punk. This speaks to the power of community in organizing and creating space for art and expression without waiting for a more mainstream (i.e. white) affirmation of that expression.
This facebook event description is why we’re here for this punk fest:
The Black and Brown Texas Punk Fest had 11 bands at the show (stay tuned for a listicle of black and brown punk bands you should listen to) and more than 250 people showing up. People of all ages attended, especially a significant amount of young people and teenagers. This is great because there aren’t usually space like this set up for youth, Daisy says. She felt the power and impact of putting the festival together when she got to see several teenage girls moshing in the pit to Xicana punk band Fea, taking up space, and she realized she never had a space to freely and safely do that as a brown girl at their age.
More affirming was After Dinosaur’s drummer telling Daisy that she had never performed at a show that was set up with the intention of centering brown and black people. She felt like the show was made for her.
Daisy says she is looking forward to a bigger, potential two-day festival next year. Daisy proclaims, “punk is the best way to resist, I look at it as a political act of resistance, our energy and our creativity cannot be taken away.” So fellow punk Quirkies in Texas, look out for info about next year’s Black and Brown Punk Fest.