Photos and stories from the punk festival's fourth year
Photos by Nessa Moreno
Fests are not necessarily about the hype. It’s a special time to see your friends from all over the country in one huge ass room. This community is small, it’s familiar – to me, it’s safe. I’ve been dying to see headliners Lumpy and the Dumpers forever, especially since the viral firecracker incident in NYC. My friends are on this bill, groups of kids I knew from Salt Lake City, LA, New York and comrades from Montreal. We’re all rolling deep into Everything Is Not OK. The weekend of the fest crept in fast and I was not prepared to travel. In a last ditch effort I bought a Greyhound ticket to make the 24 hour trek from New Orleans into Oklahoma City. It was a demoralizing experience. I missed Lumpy and the Dumpers. But oh the drama to be had still made it worthwhile. This fest will most certainly will have people talking about for years to come.
Everything is not ok: Trump is president, sex workers are further criminalized, gentrification is out of control nationwide, your crush leaves you at read. Nope, nothing is okay, shit is absolutely fucked. But this festival weekend offered some glimpse of the community that can come out in another world.
Upon arrival, I heard wild rumors that Friday afternoon, the band Q planned to destroy a boat. Soul Glo, a punk band from Philadelphia with POC members was on tour making their way to Everything’s Not Okay, we’re caught up in police harassment and took one of their members to jail. The band put up a fundraiser and within 24 the goal was met, allowing the band to hire an attorney to begin getting their band member released and cleared.
EINOKIII program is stacked with tactful approaches in navigating outsiders around Oklahoma City, the do’s and don’ts, best advice where to find good food in town, the schedule of the entire fest, complete with ground boundaries.
“-Drink lots of water.
-Respect the venues that help make this fest happen. Respect each other.
-Don’t be ignorant or a jerk
(ex: racist, sexist, transphobic, racist, ableist, classist, homophobic, fatphobic, xenophobic, Etc…)
-Don’t set off fireworks anywhere near the shows, venues, or me ( it will give me an anxiety attack and you a brand new enemy)
-Take care of yourself
-Take care of each other
-Don’t be afraid to make new friends
-Don’t be afraid to talk to me if someone has made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
-Let yourself have fun, you deserve it.”
The Sunday afternoon gig at Bikes in The Tree with Miss Lady and Q carried on as planned. The rumors were true. Q, the band, of St. Louis, did in fact, reenact a Vikings funeral on dry land. How? In a parking lot of Bikes in the Tree with setting a boat on fire. Punks circle pitted around the fire, stage diving off the burning boat, attacking the boat with bats and axes, and one stool pigeon up the ante by tossing a dried Christmas tree into the boat fire, thus placing us all in danger. The show abruptly came to an end. The fire department arrived, and the Oklahoma City police arrested two afterwards. it was one of the most breathtaking yet horrifying, traumatizing punk show I’ve attended in my life.
The afternoon gig following was cancelled, the Everything is Not Ok was damn nearly ruined, and I didn’t see Q again. What about my friends from Philly? What about Soul Glo? Why is it, a black punk band gets fucked with on their way to this Fest, and a band full of white dudes damn nearly could have killed everyone, gets away with this type of shit?
It was inspiring to see black and brown folks and trans women stage-diving like missiles throughout the entire weekend. Xylitol’s called out the police for fucking with Soul Glo in their intense set. Drugcharge is queer, POC d-beat noise was fierce and refreshing. BIB off Pop Wig Records brought some weird hardcore psychedelic fusion that left kids crowd killing and bloody amongst each other. I was beyond grateful to see amazing bands from parts of the country of wouldn’t typically see often in NOLA. May I remind you, I travelled an entire 24 hours and yet my favorite band of the fest was Patsy from New Orleans.
Despite the bullshit of what had happened, I felt inspired to carry on with more energy, recharged and reinvigorated by punk rock. I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve made, I’m grateful and to catch up with friends from everywhere, thanks to the local folks who let me crash and showed me around Freak City, USA.