By: Juan R Govea
The First Annual DFW Punk Rock Picnic kicked off hard early in July. Over ten local punk bands, including Antirad, The Ellen Degenerates and many more showed good example of the apparent punk rock scene in our town.
Brad Barker, lead singer of the band Antirad; along with Blade Gentry, venue promoter; Will Colley, local Haltom city punk and drummer for the band The Ellen Degenerates, worked together finding vendors, bands and a good spot to showcase the fest.
River bottoms pub located on Randol Mill road near Eastside Fort Worth made for a great venue, Barker said. “I had been wanting to play with a bunch of bands in Fort Worth and thought of putting on a punk fest and River Bottoms was perfect.”
Gentry, River Bottoms pub promoter said Barker had contacted him with the fest idea, and said he was all in.
“Brad provided most of the vendors to come out and set up for the fest,” Gentry said. “Will got most of the bands together for the fest.”
Dreamy Life Records, The Punk Rock shop, Billy Buttons and Emma Goldman Book Club were present along with food, water guns and a good crowd.
Colley a musician for The Ellen Degenerates and The Buzzkills said with all the bands and booths and sweaty punks that stuck around all day the group couldn’t have asked for a better day. “Every band played awesome even with the heat,” he said.
With the local punk rock scene not apparent as it has been in the past, and the closing of 1919 Hemphill along with The Wherehouse becoming non-existent punk veterans and 1919 kids seem to have a new residency at River Bottom pub.
“It sets a new standard for local punk. The scene has grown a lot over the past year and I’m looking forward to watch it grow,” Gentry says.
As for more local punk shows in the future, the trio says that it’s more than likely.
“River Bottoms pub makes for a good local venue, but the stage and sound need improvements,” Gentry says. “But River Bottoms would be more than happy to host more big named headliners and touring bands along the road.”
Barker stated that while most venues have trouble reimbursing bands that play; everyone that preformed at the picnic was reimbursed.
“Paying gigs are hard to come by but all the bands were compensated,” Barker said. “It was about having a good time and helped with networking with other bands also.”
Colley states that Society and Punk thrive on positivity when everyone works together. “Don’t wait for change, be it.”