In a world full of festivals, it’s natural for some to get lost in the noise, but Boston Zine Fest–the two-day annual festival celebrating zines in both our local and international community–refuses to get drowned out. When they take over Makeshift Boston and Simmons College on October 10th and 11th respectively, Boston Zine Fest will bring workshops, panels, and exhibitors to life while upholding a Safer Spaces policy. To help those words ring a little louder, they’re throwing a punk karaoke night full of Fugazi, Elvis Costello, and everything in between this Sunday night.
“Zines are a vital tool socially since they empower demographics whose voices are traditionally not otherwise given a platform on which to speak,” says Mitchell. “As for local representation, we sort of took a look around at our community and said, ‘For a city so large with so many zinesters, why is there no cohesive network for us all to meet and exchange ideas?’ It seemed strange that we were all floating around on our little zine islands with no arena in which to connect, so last year’s BZF organizers decided to try and fill that void.”
The proceeds of the punk karaoke night, a modest $5-10 sliding scale, go straight to the festival, sending any extra funds to childcare service or a sign language interpreter for the fest. “We aim to provide a safer space, one that’s mindful of all forms of intersectional social issues, in which creators can exchange ideas, network, and of course, showcase and sell their zines,” says festival organizer Brittany Mitchell.
But Boston Zine Fest is still fighting the (karaoke) law. The usual tracks–Blink-182, Green Day, Talking Heads–were found with ease, but they spent hours at their computers creating karaoke versions of songs that couldn’t be left out: Alkaline Trio’s “Clavicle”, Exploding Hearts’ “I’m A Pretender”, and The Ergs! “Pray For Rain”.
By walking in the door, you’re immediately entered into a raffle for giveaways from Hub Comics, Brattle Theatre, PM Press, and more. “I mean, who doesn’t want to go to karaoke where none of the songs suck–in our humble opinions–and you get presents just for being there?” Mitchell laughs. “We do our best to give back.”
The best gift of all are the possibilities the night already hints at. “It’s been enough to come up with the entire list of songs and create karaoke tracks out of them, but we’re a creative bunch,” says Mitchell. “It’s very possible after a few drinks there will be some ridiculous karaoke challenge.”
PUNK KARAOKE NIGHT. SUN 9/6. O’BRIEN’S PUB, 3 HARVARD AVE., ALLSTON. 7PM/18+/$5-10. BOSTONZINEFEST.TUMBLR.COM.