FYI on DIYs in PHL: Road To Ruin Fest (II)
- by Q.D. Tran
Tonight is the kickoff of Road To Ruin Fest II
, a three-day bash free of corporate sponsors but with plenty of punk/rock ‘n’ roll and WRESTLING! (You can check out its full schedule
and purchase tickets online
.) It’s brought to you by the guys behind Evil Weevil Records
, and will be taking place at Danger Danger Gallery (Friday), 23rd Street Armory (Saturday), and The Fire (Sunday). We got in touch with one of the Evil ones, Bill (who prefers for us to not use his last name as any sinister being would ;o), to find out more about their DIY venture/labor of love, which you can read about below.
The Deli: What inspired you to want to do your own festival?
Bill: We originally intended the fest to be more of a label showcase and a friends thing. Then when we started to book this year and we pretty much just kept booking and booking till we ended up with a three-day festival.
TD: Why did you decide to name it Road To Ruin?
B: I think Road To Ruin is collectively our favorite Ramones record.
TD: How come you had so many bands booked before you had venues secured?
B: We actually had a venue when we started booking, and it was taken over by an awful, awful person in January, and we were left scrambling and found the Armory shortly after.
TD: It’s been a while since Danger Danger Gallery had a show. How did it come about for you to have one of the events there?
B: We just emailed them, and they were stoked to do it and wanted to start booking again.
TD: How did you get hooked up with the local wrestling company CHIKARA? What should we expect from them?
B: I love wrestling, and Philadelphia has such a great and rich history in indie wrestling. CHIKARA have been so cool to work with. We basically just sent out an email feeling it out, and they were super into it. You should expect to see some awesome high flying, fast-paced wrestling. Your mind will be blown.
TD: How do you feel wrestling relates to music?
B: There are a lot of correlations between wrestling and punk music. You travel around and play for very few people for very little money. There is also a really intense and rabid fan base for both as well.
TD: What’s more difficult - running a record label or putting together a music festival, and why?
B: Both are pretty difficult. Me and Mike do both the label and the festival. With records, we are more worried about people hearing the music and supporting the bands, and with the festival, we just need a shit ton of people who are into it to come so we don't lose a ton of money.
TD: How do you feel this year’s fest has evolved in comparison to your inaugural one?
B: It’s huge. It’s a lot bigger than we really intended. Last year was just one day at a little venue with bands we knew personally and who are on our label. This year has been a lot more stressful. We started this in August, and now this weekend, we can finally see our idea come to fruition.
TD: Will Road To Ruin Fest always be free of corporate sponsors?
B: I won't say always. We wanted to do this one on our own. We wanted to say "hey we did this," but if a company comes in that we respect and wants to give us money to do something cooler and with our vision, I'd do it.
TD: What advice would you give someone who wanted to start their own festival?
B: Have a plan and stick to it. Get some decent seed money, and promote the shit out of it.
TD: We know that you are excited about having all the bands perform, but what acts are you really looking forward to hearing the most live?
B: For me, I'm really looking forward to seeing friends we haven't seen in a while. But I think I really like every band we booked.
Mike is really excited to see Big Eyes, Night Birds and Pissed Jeans
TD: What was the first music festival that you ever attended?
B: I went to Warped Tour in '99. It was so sick. Mike went to Sounds of the Underground, and he says he had an awful time.
TD: What’s your favorite thing to get at the deli?
B: I'm the most boring eater. I usually get like a honey or smoked turkey with American cheese, pepper and spicy mustard. NOTHING. Mike gets meatballs. That guy goes crazy for meatballs.