Punk rock was founded upon the ideals of community and acceptance. From its humble beginnings in the sweaty clubs of London and New York, the subculture has always strived to give a voice to those who’ve been silenced or underrepresented.
UsFest is a brand new punk, metal and heavy music festival that embraces this ethos entirely. In recent years, the issue of gender diversity in music has come to the forefront of many of our discussions, especially when within the realms of historically male-dominated heavy music.
UsFest, set to land on April 6th at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory, has arrived to provide a grassroots response to the cause, with a lineup comprising of a minimum 50% bands with at least one non-male identifying member, uniting to raise funds to support the important work of Girls Rock Sydney.
Featuring the likes of recent powerhouse UNFD signees Yours Truly, 2018’s pop punk breakout stars Between You & Me, Aussie emo legends Columbus, post-hardcore heroes RedHook and more, the event is set to truly encapsulate what it means to drive positive change in your community.
Yours Truly – ‘Circles’
The festival is the brainchild of RedHook’s vocalist Emmy Mack, alongside her childhood friend Tiana Jarvis who acknowledged a disconnect in the way the highly emotional topic of gender was being discussed and decided to take matters into their own hands.
“There’ve been a lot of important conversations happening around the issue of gender diversity on Aussie festival lineups in recent years. And the heavy scene – which has been overwhelmingly male-dominated throughout history – has come under particular scrutiny.
It’s obviously a very complex, emotional topic, but there seems to be a fundamental disconnect in the way that both sides have been discussing it in relation to our scene, and it’s created a lot of ugliness and division within the community. Last year I was actually feeling really depressed about it all, so I decided to do something to try and change it.
With UsFest, I wanted to create something positive that brought us together instead of tearing us apart. I wanted to go beyond simply ‘calling out’ the problem to offer what might hopefully be the start of a solution – creating meaningful change at the grassroots level in the hope of starting to see things shift in the treetops.
I also want to add that, while UsFest may be a new kind of event for the punk, rock & metal scene, we’re proud to be part of a new paradigm of festivals in the wider Australian music community.”
The lineup also features a stellar showcase of local talent, including Sydney’s pop punk up and comers Grenade Jumper, Northern Beaches rockers Down For Tomorrow and heavy hitters Headstrong.
Between You & Me – ‘Dakota’
UsFest 2019 Lineup
Between You and Me
The Dead Love
The Last Martyr
Down for Tomorrow
Big Music Bandits