We are very honored to have Not Enough Fest Nola featured on the cover of Antigravity, New Orleans’ alternative music monthly. At the same time, the cover choice and some of the commentary within the article are problematic.
Osa Atoe (NMF) & Rachel Speck (Nola Community Printshop, NMF supporter) each wrote a letter in response to the coverage. Click on the links above to see their responses or scroll down below the image.
Thank you so much for putting Not Enough Fest on the cover of the last issue of Antigravity and for the ongoing positive feedback and support I personally received from Dan Fox throughout the organizing of this event, from its very inception. Your enthusiasm and excitement for the concept and your support of individuals generally marginalized in many of our communities is definitely appreciated. Furthermore, the cover featuring Luka, one of the singers in Spring Break-up, the headlining band of the Fest, is gorgeous and well-deserved on their part. Spring Break-up killed it that night and the fact that they played on the floor instead of the stage no doubt helped Antigravity staff photographers to capture them more closely than any other band.
That being said, one of the main points of Not Enough Fest was to turn the tables and create an encouraging space for more women & queers to be involved in DIY and punk music making here in New Orleans. The social mixers and instrument skillshares we held in the months preceding Not Enough Fest, as well as the final event itself, displayed a level of diversity uncommon to the typical DIY/punk show in New Orleans. Not only were these events majority women & queer, but there was also a healthy representation of people of color. These are the faces of all the people who want in. They want to get on stage and play in bands, too, except the message keeps being sent out that they don’t belong and I’m sorry to say that Antigravity’s cover is yet another example of this kind of message.
I know Dziga, the cover star of last month’s issue, and understand that they identify as queer, but to anyone who doesn’t know them, what that cover reflects is yet another white guy screaming into a microphone. We are already inundated with this image, to the point of boredom. The problem with that cover, however beautiful the photography, however worthy the performance, is that it virtually obscures all of the work we did to produce something different than what we are used to seeing over & over again. A better solution would have been to use a picture of the entire band,as the band reflects a variety of identities.
There are several critiques I could make of the article itself, but I just read a lengthy and pointed response to Anton Falcone’s piece posted to Facebook by Rachel Speck and do not feel the need to repeat what’s already been said. I do not agree with all of Rachel’s statements but I think she brings up some very important points. I think Falcone gets some important aspects of Not Enough Fest, such as the labor that went into producing such an event as well as the care that went into creating an encouraging environment for beginning musicians& bands. But perhaps in the future he should avoid the random tangents, editorializing and bad jokes that plague his article. My advice would be to take a clue from Sara Pic, who wrote about Not Enough Fest in the January issue of Antigravity. She did a wonderful job portraying the event and the ideas behind it.
No More Fiction
P.S. At this point, No More Fiction is a loosely affiliated group of people. I speak only for myself here.
to whom it may concern,
let me start off by saying that my opinion doesn’t reflect the opinions of osa atoe or anyone else who helped organize not enough fest. these opinions are my own. they are based on my experiences in punk and my reaction to article about Not Enough Fest (NEF).
while in the planning stages of NEF, Ace, a queer writer for anti-gravity that was involved in some of the discussions and planning of nef, said that anti-gravity wanted to cover the event and asked if it was ok if they did. we all agreed that it would be great to have someone write the article about the planning that went into the event as well as explain why the event is needed and is happening.
i blindly thought that this meant the covering of the actual event as well. i guess i was wrong.
although, i am glad anti-gravity covered and took notice of the event, i am disturbed that this is the way that the magazine choose to present its opinion of the fest (before, during, and after) and queers/females in music/existence as well.
the whole vibe that i got in the beginning of the article and even through out most of it was that the writer thought that the event was going to suck. the quote,
“i looked at the “!” on my hand, thought that a “?” would have
been more suitable and wondered which of these 50% GLBT acts
were going to take an L7-stage dive into amplified public
This quote is kind of heavy and actually its message is the undertone of the majority of the article. The underlying message of this quote and article is that the majority of straight men that come into events or watch bands that are majority lady or queer fronted bands/events is that these bands/events are going to suck unless the females are attractive. i have lost count at how many males have told me that they were surprised that one of my bands (mainly this happened with scissorgrind) did not suck or that they did not expect to like us. whenever i follow up with a why did you think that, they can’t really answer the question or stutter an answer that doesn’t make sense, and then the answer becomes very clear, it is because we are all females and (minus myself) we were all visually queer. (also side note: L7 totally rules!)
the way that the bands were covered for the story is also highly inappropriate, uncalled for, and unfair to the bands and the amount of work that they have put in. the article skipped mentioning bands that took place in NEF to only go at length with talking about how beautiful the band MANS was. the review of this band completely objectifies them as people, and the author justifies it with an everyone was doing it excuse by saying, “all members looked elegant in their black dresses, and i’m sure almost everyone agreed. my h buddy next to me was enamored, the l girls in front of me were drooling, and the its were probably arguing over who the singer was wearing.” one not all the ladies were wearing black, as even the picture in the magazine shows. two any “empowerment” that the ladies felt and received has now been taken away from them by making them more about being sexual objects then musicians. Thus this article lacks talking about the musical integrity and skill but focuses more on the shallowness of beauty and what cars bands were driven.
also, through out the article there is a somewhat separation of heterosexuals and homosexuals and the implication that the author views homosexuals as others. the quote above as well as the quote about how surprising it is that a homosexual/queer person might have to deal with the same daily issues that a heterosexual singer might have to deal with is unnerving. just because a person does not share the same sexual preference as you does not negate them from sharing the same emotions or experiences as you and the realization of this shouldn’t be made in an article that is covering an event, which is meant to tear down these ideas and barriers that have been placed on homosexuals/queers. what should have been brought to this article and event was not a realization but support. the realization should have happened before the event and its coverage.
like i have mentioned before, i am glad that anti-gravity took notice in NEF and enjoyed it, however the message and these compliments are nothing more than back handed compliments. on one hand, you are complimenting us and the surprising success of the event. On the other hand, you had just torn and put down everything that this event and these female/queer bands have stood for. i hope that anti-gravity continues to cover these type of events but with hopefully a clearer head on what it means to support these type of events.
i end this article with a lyric. it is a lyric that i sing to myself or will even vocalize whenever a straight male says something homophobic but has a limp wrist patch on their vest, or says something sexist and then follows it with i am not sexist, i like bikini kill, or the many arguments i get into about people liking my band but disagreeing with our politics:
"He’s the one who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun
But he knows not what it means
Knows not what it means and I say”
Are you ready for Not Enough Fest? The social mixers and skillshares are complete and we’ve set the time & date for the fest! Not Enough Fest will be held at The Big Top, 1638 Clio Street, New Orleans, Louisiana on Friday, April 26, 2013.
Not Enough Fest would not be happening without the support of Queerspiracy. Check them out. Get involved!
If your new band would like to play NOT ENOUGH FEST, you must confirm by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org by March 24th!
THINGS TO KNOW:
1. In order to play this show, your band must be brand new. Not Enough Fest will be your first show.
2. Your group must be comprised of at least half women-indentified or queer-indentified people.
3. Beginning musicians are highly encouraged to participate. If you have never played an instrument before, if you have never been in a band before, this is a great opportunity to get started. Support for beginning musicians will be provided in the months before the fest. (See below.)
4. This fest is open to anyone & everyone. If you would like to play this fest, there is no formal process to apply. Just start a band and make us aware of your existence and your desire to play the fest by either talking to us in person or e-mailing us at email@example.com.
5. There will be events leading up to Not Enough Fest such as social mixers for people to meet other musicians and find new bandmates, as well as instrument skillshares for people to teach and learn music skills. Keep your eye on this page, noladiy.org and No More Fiction’s Facebook page to find out about these events as they happen.
6. Proceeds from this Fest will benefit Ashley Volion. Read her story here.
7. The idea of Not Enough Fest came from these folks, although some of the details have been modified to suit the needs and realities of the New Orleans punk & DIY scenes.
Voice PA and DJ - FEBRUARY 24th at 6PM at Fair Grinds Coffeehouse (3133 Ponce De Leon Street)
Guitar - FEBRUARY 27th at 2PM at the Community Printshop (1201 Mazant Street)
Drums - MARCH 2nd at 2PM at 335 Jane Place (Intersection of Jane and Banks street)
Bass - MARCH 3rd at 2PM at the Community Printshop (1201 Mazant Street)