Punk Pilgrimage: Punk In the Park sets the bar for hyper-focused festivals
In the era of the mega festival, there is a growing consensus that such a thing as festival fatigue exists. While there are still plenty of multi-day, multi-stage destination events that continue to reinforce the ever-evolving live experience and tout enough spectacle to warrant big ticket prices, there is the other side of that coin that looks to curate a more focused, concise version of the music festival experience.
Among the micro-festival circuit, the name of the game is about continuity. Scaling down the amount of bands on the bill, the idea is to ensure that each artist listed compliments one another - creating that kind of ideal scenario where the opening band on the day, makes sense with the headlining band on the bill and everything in between jives.
Marking it's second year as a contender among specialized, focused festival experiences, Punk In the Park serves as the Southland destination celebrating all things punk. Between the carefully curated line-up that nurtures new school prospects by pairing them with the genre's most venerated names, the two-day congregation is one that underscores the core tenet of community, while retaining credibility in its meticulous curation. In short, Punk In the Park presents as festival experience crafted for fans, by fans.
With year two in the books, the sold-out gathering was anchored by memorable showings from the genre's most revered names. Bad Religion celebrated four decades of How Could Hell Be Any Worse. Dropkick Murphys played their only electric set of their current This Machine Still Kills Fascists tour. There was a surprise showing from The Vandals who paid tribute to the recently departed D.H. Peligro of the previously scheduled Dead Kennedys. Along with standout sets from beloved bands like Bouncing Souls, Face to Face, The Bronx, Manic Hispanic, Subhumans and even a rare set from the PNW punk outliers The Murder City Devils, the weekend asserted a solid grasp of nuance of the genre with a line-up that offered nearly all killer and minimal filler.
Check the complete photo gallery from both days of the 2022 edition of Punk In the Park below from photographers Cody Black and Jasmine McCormick.