Create to Destroy! L.A.’s Berserktown Fest 2014
East 7th was seriously holding it down in Los Angeles as a haven for punk and creativity. Unfortunately it was recently closed, but the East 7th punx’ Beserktown Fest is still happening at Los Globos, August 15th through 17th, with affordable tickets. This is a true community effort with the purest of intentions and a backbone of punk ethics. Please support the punks who organized it and the incredible array of the most potent acts from all over the world that will be performing. (This interview was not done with any particular person as it takes a village to organize a fest, so individual names are not being used.)
What was East 7th? Does it still exist without a physical space?
East 7th was a DIY punk club in Downtown Los Angeles. There were underground gigs happening from January 2013 to June 2014. It’s just one unit (building) rather than two now and there are plans to open a punk shop. Check out the shop at East 7th during the fest days from 11am to 5pm.
Do you consider yourselves a collective?
East 7th has always been a small crew of people investing ideas, money and time into the space, events, distro, and resources. The group of people supporting it has changed over the short time it’s been around.
How has the community of East 7th changed since shutting down?
A lot of shows that we’re booked at East 7th ended up at Los Globos. It definitely changes things going from DIY space to legitimate business. East 7th was becoming too big for itself and it got harder to mediate conflict and prevent violence at shows. People feel a loss for East 7th who’ve been there or wanted to go. Nothing lasts forever. Los Globos is a different vibe, but it’s cool enough to be all-ages and offer 75% percent of the door to touring bands.
How is it tied to the Beserktown Fest?
Beserktown is a new thing happening. East 7th’s involvement puts more DIY punk and hardcore bands on the bill: friends who have supported East 7th or would be cool to see live. There are genres/bands involved that in most cases might not be on the same bill. Beserktown has funding/investment from the club and East 7th is organizing most of the punk and hardcore given the budget. It’s not a “DIY” fest, but has a lot of underground bands on it from different backgrounds. There’s also an opening art show Aug. 14 in Downtown L.A. at Superchief Gallery, featuring different punk art and photography that begins at 6pm and will be up through the weekend.
I understand it was originally supposed to be at East 7th, how has it been working with Los Globos? I have a friend who remembers that place when it used to be a disco club…
East 7th was going to do another Solo Para Punx fest like last summer, but cancelled the idea once the space closed as a venue. The opportunity to get involved with a fest at Los Globos was offered to East 7th—they asked us to book bands. Since it’s a new project, not entirely punk or DIY, it became BESERKTOWN.
Los Globos is a regular club. So far there haven’t been any major problems. Bands on tour get or split 75% of the door. It’s all ages. There’s times where people get asked to leave for sneaking in alcohol which is expected but no real violence. It’s possible with so many different people there can be issues during the fest weekend. Hopefully everything will be handled right and people have a good time.
Who are the headliners?
Some of the “headliners” are early L.A. punk bands THE ZEROS and THE WEIRDOS, CHROME from the Bay Area, DAWN OF HUMANS (first time on the West Coast), HOAX, FINAL CONFLICT, UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, IRON LUNG, A GLOBAL THREAT, etc.
With such a diverse lineup — from PHARMAKON to A GLOBAL THREAT to GREEN BERET to THE ZEROS to WOLF EYES to UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE — is this considered a punk fest or more of just a showcase of all the amazing music going on internationally today?
It’s a fest with mostly underground music, a lot of punk and hardcore and it’s at a business which does all kinds of music events and nightclubs. It’s definitely a diverse lineup, and I’m not all too familiar with every artist on it since it’s collaborative. There’s two rooms up stairs with bands playing back to back, sometimes at the same time, but usually different styles. There’s also an outdoor patio if you need a break.
How big is the venue? What do you expect the turn out to be like?
The venue holds around 500 people. The turnout might be between 300-500 people each night, it depends. It would have been nice to organize this much earlier in the year, but it was an opportunity that came up mid-June. It’s surprising what’s come together so far despite the time crunch.
How much is it? Do you think they’ll be tickets at the door or should we buy in advance?
There are 200 fest passes for $45 that you can buy online. Each show has individual tickets in advance for $18 online. If you buy them at the door on the day of the show, they’re $20. Buying a pass or tickets in advance is somewhat cheaper.
Do you plan on doing this annually?
Not sure. It’s possible it will happen again next year. It’s an experiment, like everything. Thanks for the interview, Amelia.
BESERKTOWN FEST • Los Angeles, CA • August 15-17
Los Globos • 3040 Sunset Blvd. • Los Angeles, CA 90026
East 7th Shop will be open during the days of the fest:
1725 E. 7th, Unit D • Los Angeles, CA 90021
Superchief Gallery will be hosting a punk art and photo show during the fest in the day: 739 Kohler St., Downtown L.A.
Current lineup (check in HERE for the most up-to-date info)
A GLOBAL THREAT • AUSENCIA • BETA BOYS • BEHAVIOR • BLAZING EYE • CHROME • CRAZY JOE DEVOLA • DAWN OF HUMANS (NYC) • DESTRUCTION UNIT (Arizona) • DIRTY WORK • FINAL CONFLICT • FUMIGADOS • HIGH FUNCTIONING FLESH • HOAX • IRON LUNG (Seattle) • KOWARD (Boston) • GREEN BERET (Boston) • NEEDLES (Bay Area) • NUKE CULT • POLISKITZO • SURVIVAL (NYC) • UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE (Spain) • THE WEIRDOS • THE ZEROS
Also: AARON DILLOWAY (Ohio) • CONTAINER (Rhode Island) • HIVE MIND • PETE SWANSON (NYC) • PHARMAKON (NYC) • SKATE LAWS (California)