Front and Center

By Victoria Austen Moon

Once again this year Louisville will be flooded from the underground — but don’t start piling up sandbags yet. It’s time for Krazy*Fest 3, the third indie hardcore festival hitting the Belvedere May 19 – 21.

The first Krazy*Fest was held at the former Thunderdome on Bardstown Road, and the turnout for the festival far exceeded anyone’s expectations. Unfortunately, however, the festival had to be moved due to that venue closing. After problems finding a venue big enough for the event and finding club owners willing to work with them, Initial Records owner Andy Rich worked with LMIA (Louisville Music Industry Alliance) to find a home for Son of Krazy*Fest, last year’s festival, on the Belvedere. As 4,500 kids rocked, moshed, karaoked and sang along to a three-day mish-mash of hardcore, indie, emo-core and punk rock—in other words, the kind of music your mother loves to hate—Initial Records knew Krazy*Fest had found a good home.

Initial Records, one of the most successful independent labels in the area, has seen 10,200 in attendance over the past 2 festivals, and their grassroots advertising campaign in e-zines, the Internet and their mail-order catalog brings fans from all over the U.S., Canada and even Europe to converge on the River City. Fans from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, California, Georgia, and Florida were in highest numbers at the festival, and ‘zines from across the country relate testimonials of wild road trips and scary hotel room experiences at previous Krazy Fests.

This year, some of bands that have become traditions at Krazy Fest such as the Enkindels and Elliott return, along with some newcomers sure to please the indie crowd.

According to Initial Records’ Staci Meyers, the lineup for this year is as follows: On Friday, May 19th, look for The Suicide Machines, Boy Sets Fire, The Enkindels, Burn It Down, River City High, and Skam Impaired. On Saturday, the featured bands include AFI, Elliott, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cave In, Time In Malta, Grade, One King Down, Reach The Sky, Brothers Keeper, Drowningman, As Friends Rust, and National Acrobat. On Sunday, get ready for a long and loud day with By The Grace Of God, Saves The Day, The Juliana Theory, The Jazz June, King For A Day, Stretch Arm Strong, Buried Alive, Good Clean Fun, The Movielife, Hot Rod Circuit, and Moods For Moderns.

The folks at Initial are canny enough to debut some new releases while everyone’s in town, and this year is no exception. Though the formal release date of new full-length CDs by the Enkindels and Jazz June (titled and respectively) is set for May 23rd, Krazy Fest 3 attendees will be able to hear the new stuff as well as pick up advance copies of the 2 releases.

Along with Initial, the festival has sponsorships and/or trade agreements with WFTX The Fox 100.5 FM, Mom's Music and Ear X-tacy. The festival is also sponsored by EMusic, an online company based in Redwood City, California that claims to have the “Internet's largest catalog of downloadable MP3 music available for purchase.” Initial Records is one of the many independent labels affiliated with EMusic.

Though the festival touts itself as non-alcoholic and many of its attendees will be vegetarians, the tattooed and pierced crowd is far from being everyday family entertainment. Stories from Krazy*Fest include more than 70 people crowded into a room at the Holiday Inn downtown (dubbed last year “The Hardcore Hotel”), kids getting thrown into the fountains, road trips from hell (one report cited a trip that listed “9 dead deer, 3 tanks of gas and 4 Harley dealerships” as the price paid for trekking the 15 hours it took to get from Massachusetts to Louisville), hotel water gun fights and various initiation rites involving Port-O-Johns and excrement.

While not for the faint of heart, Krazy*Fest 3 will offer some of the best new underground rock in the country, and is rapidly making fans as well as city officials sit up and take notice. Initial Records founder Andy Rich has managed to create an event that is professional enough to win the respect of officials in city government and, well, crazy enough to win the respect of the hardest-to-please hardcore fan. 

For more information, click on Doors will open Friday, May 19th at 5pm, Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 12pm. A weekend pass for the entire festival is $25 before May 1st and $10-$14 for a day pass at the door. Tickets are available on the Initial Records website, or call 502.499.PUNK.