The Punks are back in town

Photo by Drew Crenshaw/Staff Photographer
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Creators of “Hey Buddy,” Cory Anchors and Dustin Grandchant, have been preparing for the festival for months.

Lea McMillian
Staff Reporter

Raquel Duplin, event coordinator of Punk Rock Festival, said she noticed around three years ago that there were no platforms in Birmingham that was only dedicated to the Punk Rock scene.  For the fringe community to have a place solely dedicated to them, Duplin decided to hold a festival for those who only live in the world of punk rock.  Duplin said she organized the event through Facebook inviting Punk Rock bands to perform. This year,  Duplin said four bands reached out to her. Two Punk Rock Festivals every year and each are hosted at different locations.  

“This event is made to bring everyone together and it’s also put in place to inspire other people,” said Duplin. “People traveled over six hours just to participate and witness the event.” 

Many people saw this event as a way to connect with the community they felt as though they were surrounded by family, Duplin said. Along with bands and artists, vendors were also present to sell and share their artwork. Rachel Strain, owner of Apothecary’s Daughter and Catch the Fox Art, included a company that sold original small portraits and only natural beauty products such as soaps and lip balm.   

“My mom would always tell me to go to church so that you could develop a family,” said Rachel Strain owner of Apothecary’s Daughter and Catch the Fox Art. “Punk Rock is my family, and everyone becomes friends and with that is great exposure.”  

Strain started off selling peppermint lip balm around campus. Making soap out of natural products was Strain’s way of paying for her college education. Since Strain was a child, she said she knew that she had a passion for art and so she had been drawing ever since.  Another vendor catered toward the fringe community, was a local business selling unique art.

  Amber Kirby, owner of Bella Belial said she since the seventh grade she knew she loved insects. After a while, she said she finally used art to intergrade her creativity with her artistic skills. Kirby said she feels that the consistency of the event allows her art to be appreciated.  

“I believe that this event gives artist a home,” Kirby said.  Meg Golding, owner of Meg Has Issues, said she appreciates the event not just for the exposure but also allows for Golding to be herself. After working for comic companies for years as an illustrator, she decided to start her own business.  “The community is strong and receptive,” Golding said. “At this festival, I don’t have to censor my work, we do our own thing.” Cory Anchors and Dustin Grandchant created a company called Hey Buddy.   

“The name creates a positive message for friends and family,” said Grandchant.  Anchors and Grandchant started their own business of graphic T-shirts, buttons and other accessories after getting tired of their previous work schedules.  

According to the pair, the two had been planning for the event for a while and after months of preparation they made their way to the festival. While many were presenting their musical talents and t-shirt designs, Jonna Stevens, owner of Early July, said she has devoted her business to handpicking clothing and accessories that she said you wouldn’t find anywhere else.  

 “Everyone needs that one rare clothing item that you can’t find anywhere else and many don’t like to shop,” said Stevens. “This event is amazing for makers; they all get to come together. While everyone came with different items to display, they all had the same goal and many even had the same passion.”
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