New Brunswick’s summer festival lineup just got a little edgier with the announcement of the first NB Punk Fest is set to take place Canada Day weekend in downtown Fredericton.
Punks don’t have it easy. But they are resourceful.
Shortly after announcing plans to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a cross-Canada tour that included a stop in Moncton on July 1, Houston, Texas crossover legends D.R.I. pulled the plug on all their Canadian dates. There it was. The biggest hardcore punk show to hit the province in years. Gone.
But it was only a matter of days before Ciaron Lewis, co-founder of New Brunswick hardcore/punk rock institution Neighbourhood Watch, decided to claim date and create an event to help heal the sting of D.R.I.’s cancelation.
“With the demise of Penobstock, two years of cancelled shows, and then cancellation of the biggest punk show we had come through here in quiet some time, I saw the NB punk scene was feeling really defeated,” said Lewis. “Just one disappointment after another.”
It only took a few days of phones calls and messages for Lewis to put together a lineup of bands interested in playing the event. Shortly thereafter, one night of music grew to become two, and then an all-ages matinee was added. The icing on the cake was the addition of the Dayglo Abortions, who had been planning to tour the country this summer with D.R.I.
NB Punk Fest will take place July 1 and 2 with shows happening at Broken Record Bar and Music Room (422 Queen Street) and the Monarch Club (474 Queen Street).
“I started calling around to put together a pick-up show for the Dayglos to help them out and with the response I received and the support of Broken Record Bar we decided to make this more than one off show and organize a two-day event. All the bands involved jumped and it came together very easily.”
The fest’s first year will include 13 bands from around the Maritimes, plus the headliners who will be traveling from West Coast.
“The New Brunswick scene has been very kind to me over the years and this just my small way to say thank you and do not give up hope even when things get shitty,” said Lewis.
Individual show tickets and weekend passes for NB Punk Fest are on sale now.