Thursday, 10 March 2011

Drop Dead Festival - Goth, deathrock, punk and 'weird wave' fest

Goth gossip: TOMORROW at 2:15 p.m. on BBC Radio 4, UK Goths and S.O.P.H.I.E. supporters can catch Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, which is described as 'a drama documentary in which Sophie tells her own story through a collection of poems written by award-winning poet Simon Armitage, alongside an interview with her mother Sylvia Lancaster as she remembers her daughter's life.'

Drop Dead Festival, originally New York's largest Goth/punk/deathrock event, is described by Wikipedia, Font of All Knowledge, as a Gothic, Punk and Weird Wave Festival. About 65 bands play at the event each year, and it has been known to attract spooky attendees from as many as 30 different countries. Additional smaller events by the same organisers - NY Decay Productions - have been held across America, namely in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and New Jersey. The event also spread to Europe in 2007 when a five-day event was held in Prague, and has been held annually in Europe ever since.

Source: Drop Dead Festival
The DDF attendee can expect to hear bands from such genres as post-punk, deathrock, synthpunk, psychobilly, punk, experimental, Goth rock, horrorpunk, dark cabaret and more. The fest is noted for its elaborate stage designs, and also boasts a market, movie screenings, and a dance floor 'featuring underground DJs from around the world'. The festival attracts some big names such as Nina Hagen, Sex Gang Children, Skeletal Family, Bella Morte, Antiworld, Rubella Ballet and Frank the Baptist.

After several small events at the Pyramid in New York achieved great subcultural success, the decison was made to host the first multi-day Drop Dead Fest at the infamous CBGBs punk rock club (basically, America's more punk answer to The Batcave). However, subsequent Drop Dead Festivals have been held at the larger Knitting Factory, although pre-parties and after-parties were traditionally held at CBGBs, until the club shut down.

In 2005, the festival had gained such popularity that it grew to four days of ooky-spooky craziness, covering Halloween week (clearly a traditional time for Goth events). This year, three days of performances were held at Knitting Factory, and the last day was hosted by the Limelight club. Over 5,000 people attended.

The DDF in Prague kicked off on Halloween 2007 at the Cross Club (apparently the club itself is 'an ongoing community art project), and was held for the following four days at Prague's Rock Club. DDF seems to travel around Europe; the 2008 event was held in Portugal and 2010 in Lithuania. This year, DDF is coming to - you guessed it - Germany.

NY Decay Productions are also infamous within the scene for producing Drop Dead Magazine, which they began to publish in 2005 to help promote the many diverse acts that performed at the festival. Originally a small black and white magazine, it has since become a full-color, 100 page quarterly. The magazine's early focus, while varied, consisted mainly of deathrock, post-punk, psychobilly, and Goth bands. However, since Issue #3 the focus has switched mainly to art punk, electropunk, noise rock, experimental, and underground indie, although it does still maintain some of the original deathrock, punk, and Wave content.

Listening to: Nine in the Afternoon - Panic! at the Disco


Sara said...

I'm going (when I don't have to redo any exams in that period).


Angel of Darkness said...

I so wish I could go! And I love that pic of the woman in the deathawk!

DJ Creepshow said...

It's too bad that the people who run Drop Dead have become insufferable hipsters who barely give a flying fuck about goth or deathrock anymore.

Dodecahedron said...

@DJ Creepshow or too bad you're a dork and a butt dweeb who can't deal with change. Lol.

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