FRACK OFF Fest will bring a variety of local bands and even some out-of-towners to our city for a weeklong music event.
FRACK OFF Fest will bring a variety of local bands and even some out-of-towners to our city for a weeklong music event. All proceeds from the shows will go towards groups fighting fracking in Virginia, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline projects.
“The message we’re passing along is a simple one, and should be easily understood by any sane person who trusts in science,” said Myles Shifflett of band 6TA and one of the event organizers. “We need to stop investing in energy sources that are destroying the planet.”
The group FRACK-tose Intolerant, which is the main impetus for this event, was launched this year to organize events that spread their message of opposition to the pipeline projects and fracking. Jessica Abramson is a co-founder of the group, along with her husband Seth Ambramson, Zach Lutman of the band Buddhagraph Spaceship and his girlfriend Dana Gargiule.
“We started FRACK-tose Intolerant as a way to spread awareness of the issues, specifically among the millennial generation, through music and art,” Abramson said.
She became actively involved in these issues because the Mountain Valley Pipeline is proposed to go through her home county, Monroe County, WV.
“My husband, Seth, and I, live here on his family farm which has been in his family for four generations,” Abramson said. “While the current suggested pipeline route does not go through this property, we are still firmly against this thing coming through our county, having a negative impact on our friends and neighbors, and threatening the heath, safety, and natural beauty of our community.”
Tommy Crisafulli, another organizer of the event and member of Imaginary Sons, echoed these sentiments when he explained his involvement.
“The history behind these energy companies shows nothing but a disregard for human life,” Crisafulli said.
He said many families have faced the negative consequences of fracking including loss of land and unsafe drinking water from hazardous fracking materials.
“This pipeline and the method of Fracking are just a continuation of the old habits of these companies,” Crisafulli said. “Take the land, extract the valuable resources from it in whatever way possible, damn the consequences, and leave.”
Shifflett and Crisafulli, along with Mitch Kordella, Greyson Goodenow and Jake Lawrence organized the bands that would play at each venue. They most of the bands asked to play in support of the movement.
“I feel like all the musicians involved are some of the most passionate, productive, kind-hearted, creative people in Richmond,” Shifflett said. “A real down to earth group, all sharing a similar sense of awareness, not just with the issues, but also in a way that puts them in touch with their humanity.”
Each of the events will have much more than just music.
Crisafulli said they have speakers lined up from Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Citizens Climate Lobby and a short film by Sera Stavroula about the Climate March and blockade of Dominion Headquarters from February.
Kordella said there will also be raffles, literature, screen-printings and live paintings.
“We are putting together screen printings of the “don’t frack my heart” logo,” Kordella said.
“And at some of these events, namely the OUR House show there will be live screen printing where you can bring an article of clothing and have it printed while you wait/rock out inside. Also live paintings during sets which will then be raffled off to the crowd.”
Abramson said the funds the festival raises will go towards future FRACK-tose Intolerant events, including a free festival at Pinky’s Farm April 3-4. After those funds will be distributed to other activist organizations including Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Preserve Monroe, Preserve Montgomery County, Preserve the NRV, and more.
“I can’t wait to see the collection of ideas and people that come out each night,” Kordella said.
March 13th at Strange Matter ($7)
Toxic Moxie // Deaf Scene // Fight Cloud // BRNDA
March 14th at OUR House
Imaginary Sons // Buddagraph Spaceship // 6TA // Sharp Lads // Solace Sovay
March 15th at Sound of Music Recording Studios ($5)
My Darling Fury // Lucy Dacus // HEADLESSMANTIS // Suneater
March 16th at NGP (The Gene Pool Collective)
Dane Ferguson // Ashes // Monroe Transaction
March 17th at The Camel ($5)
Matt Sease // President Sam // Hot Air Affair // The Mad Extras // Basement Club
March 18th at Strange Matter ($5)
Parentheses // Furious George // Gossamer // Die Twice // Vundabar