From a quick glance at the Facebook Event page for the first Fed Up Festival, one could be misled into believing the event was simply a punk LGBTQ friendly blow-out. The eventwhich took place July 25-27 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeportwas far more then just that.
With many participants and punk bands coming in from as far away as New York and Canada, this event presented a welcoming space for not only LGBTQ punk rockers and allies, but also trans individuals and queer youth. It also served as a forum for racism and xenophobia, body image, radical queer expression, transphobia, coalition and community building, sexual politics, and the establishment of the seeds for a DIY queer community that embraces all. The Fed Up Fest was not just about words and thoughts, but about action.
Inspired by the direct action coalition FUQ ( Fed Up Queers ) that germinated out of ACT UP in New York City in 1989, this festival served as a fundraiser for Project Fierce Chicago. Project Fierce, a relatively young organization, aims to reduce homelessness among LGBTQ young adults while providing them with options for creating a fuller life.
Among the presentations at the festival were forums on prisoner support projects, "anti-blackness ( a dialogue on ingrained racism and xenophobia ), the current conflict in the Gaza Strip and sex-worker safety..
July 26 activities included readings from writers and bloggers on topics such as inner city gentrification, body image and acceptance, and growing up queer and closeted as a Latina in a staunchly Catholic household.
Of course, there was the music and dancing with queer bands Closet Burner, Homewreckers and Parasol, among others, playing July 25. The following day showcased Aye Nako, Sorrows and Curmudgeon, and was topped with a rare surprise set from queer punk legends Limp Wrist. The final afternoon of the festival brought sets from Slouch, Force Quit, Peeple Watchin' and local band Anomaly.
With all the punk attitude, heated and emotional dialogue, and slam dancing, there were no physical injuries or confrontations. The festival could only be viewed as a resounding social and financial success with kindness and respect permeating the entire weekend.