Saturday afternoon's humble, yet vibrant festival of music, culture, skillshares and do-it-yourself culture at Ringer Park in Allston appeared to go off without a hitch. There's a reason why it didn't happen until late August, though. Allston DIY Fest, the afternoon cultural exchange, was very nearly cancelled due to regulatory issues.
In June, Boston's Parks and Recreation department denied Allston DIY Fest permits necessary to go forward. Instead, they tried to convince organizers to re-locate, according to Boston-based webzine Fvck the Media. "The whole point is to be a neighborhood celebration," said co-organizer Kelly Baker to The Media. "[Parks Dept.'s] Jon Bailey said, unfortunately [the fest] got caught in the crossfire of different neighborhood groups having different petty politics issues with each other… and [the police dept.] supports the event."
The fourth annual fest did come together — on a picture perfect day, no less — featuring local punk and folk acts which typically roam the basements and small venues of Boston. Locally Amped caught part of the diverse action, including a jazz fusion set, an avant-garde punk project and a couple of up-and-coming noisier acts from the area: garage-y Sneeze (who embark on a national tour beginning next week) and the fuzzy, fast and grungy Ovlov. A previously unknown favorite we caught was Providence, RI-based Kid Mountain, who threw shimmery, electro-based guitar rock across the diamond.
In addition to the main stage (which took place on a baseball field's backstop), acoustic performers took over a tree-enclosed section of the park on a hill including an angsty fest-closing set by Rick Maguire, of the well-regarded Boston punk act Pile and an ode to dogs by a performer earlier in the afternoon.
It was an excuse to hang out with friends outdoors who you typically only see in dingy bars, which alone is enough of a reason for it to continue. But uniting the collegetown's lesser-known musicians in solidarity makes Allston DIY Fest a must in the future.
Listen below to a mix of the all of the bands who played this year's DIY Fest and jot it into your schedule for next summer.