Femme Fest is this weekend

24 Jun

We try to be pretty socially concise around these parts, mainly because we feel that while music is pretty great, it’s greater when performed for a cause with a purpose we support, so when we became aware that Dallas’ Phoenix Project Collective was putting on a two day festival this weekend we decided to highlight what their trying to accomplish.

Femme Fest is  focused on celebrating and empowering diverse women in the community.  The two days will be filled with live music featuring both local and touring female acts as well as work shops, food from Spiral Diner, live art auction, raffles, games and assorted organizations on hand who plan to help educate the public about their causes. Proceeds from the event go to both the Phoenix Project Collective,  and Texas Equal Access Fund, a 501 c3 charity.

And after the jump you’ll find even mor information about the Collective, and Femme Fest as I as able to ask the Collective‘s Jessica Luther a few questions.

(Note: The interview was done through email, and I have left all text as received…in other words I was too lazy to re-type.)

How did Femme Fest come together?

JL: The idea was actually from our sound guy,  Kendall Counts, He’s a great guy, with great ideas.  So, we’re always trying to come up with new ideas about how to get more people involved  and empower the community around us. Well,  one day we were talking about how we could get more females involved in our community, as shows tend to be heavy on the male side.  So…..Kendall came up with the idea of a festival to empower women and showcase women artists and musicians…then another member Evita stepped up and took on the art auction, and then I took on coordinating community groups and the workshops and promoting.

Are there any bands participating that are a must see?

JL: All of them of course! Ecocide is coming up from San Antonio, they are amazing. we must dismantle all this is coming from Illinois, Dude Nukem from Missouri is the only band with out female members but good friends of the collective that actually got double booked on accident, so for the sake of not letting down a touring band they got on the bill, but have to wear drag to do it!

Phoenix Project has made a name for itself as one of the better, if only DIY spots in Dallas, how has the journey been getting to that spot?

JL:

Wow…thanks for saying that! It’s certainly been hard.  We are a collective of people just trying to make things happen.  There are a lot of different people involved with a lot of different ideas and they don’t always coincide, so compromise is a must, while it isn’t always easy.  We have certainly had our hard times, but its been hard since the beginning! Hell we started with a smoldering building!! All in all I wouldn’t trade the last 2 years of my life for anything else! I would also like to announce, we have just passed our final inspection with the city of Dallas and now have an official certificate of occupancy, so this will be our
first, “official” event at the phoenix project!

Just two weeks ago we saw the closing of the Handsome Kitten in Expo Park, with DIY spot dwindling in Dallas proper, what is Phoenix doing to assure the continued existence of the venue?

JL: Well, obviously the first thing that makes us different is the fact that not only do we not sell  alcohol, but we do not allow it within our collective space.  This, of course does not make us popular with everyone, but it is one of the main reasons we have been able to stay around. The fact is, it cuts down on city involvement, regarding permits, zoning, etc.  It also allows minors a place to come and be a part of events, which is huge to keeping a scene thriving.  We of course also don’t have to deal with the (all too often associated) violence that comes with alcohol consumption, which leads to problems as well.  I think it isn’t fair to compare us with other diy venues though because i feel what we are doing is truly different from anything else being done in Dallas. We are not just a venue, we are a collective, working hard to offer our community a safe place to explore art and music in ways not excepted or appreciated in other places and also working hard to provide resources to sustain our community, aka…our bike co – op, community garden, etc.

What do you guys have planned for the future?

JL: Hahahaha….well, it is our hope with the money raised at Femme Fest to install central air, a water reclamation system, and build our green house & bike workshop by the end of next summer.  As far as events go, we have our summer punk fest coming up  July 16th.  Good mix of older punk bands in the area that have been around and some of our new rising stars ; ) here is the line up

UNIT 21 12am
DCOI 11:30- 11:50 (from San Fransisco hardcore/street punk)
LIFE ERASED 11:00- 11:20
THE SCANDALS 10:30 – 10:50
ROTUNDUS 10:00 – 10:20
TEENAGE KAMAKAZI 9:30 – 9:50
RECKLESS REASON 9:00-9:20 (from Milwaukee)…..smilwaukee

ODOR 8:30-8:50
HOOD RAT 8:00-8:20
NUKLEAR FEAR 7:30-7:50
TATTERD FLAG 7:00-7:20
In other words its music, food, fun and a good cause…you should probably make an appearance.

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