Keeping Boston Indie

Letters to the Boston editor, July 29, 2011

I've been involved with the DIY scene in Boston (see "Allston DIY Fest Is a Collective Affair," Arts & Entertainment, July 22, 2011) on and off since I was 13 years old. Back in 1999, the pit at Harvard Square was a glorious wasteland of anti-establishment crust punks, radicals, B-boys, and no-future-listo-bums. Electric people got up on soapboxes with megaphones to fight the system with free thought and booming voices. The fiery collective dissatisfaction of the status quo brought us to punk shows at places like the First and Second Church on Marlborough Street and the Greek American Political Hall, where we thrashed in solidarity to the raw power of the Trouble and the Vigilantes. We were young, pissed, and hungry for realness.

Looking back to those days (not so long ago), I'm stunned by how organically the DIY scene has since bloomed into a legitimate renaissance. Not just in Boston — but all over the world — a whole generation of artists, musicians, and social architects have opened up their homes and sought opportunities to unite people in collective experiences. House shows are a cornerstone of life for so many people and bands. It's truly folk in its nature: "by the people for the people." It's not about financial gain, but rather cultural richness and shared experiences in a quest to manifest the Yes Wave.

This collective culture, with socio-political agenda or without, is a huge part of what makes a city's creative landscape vibrant and contemporary. While Boston has historically been a provincial city, recognized more for its medical, financial, and tech communities than its artistic offerings, DIY Fest was a testament to the fact that the city's young artists and organizers are on their game — and much more awesomeness is on the way. It was easily one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen happen here. All of these amazing kids came out of their basements, worked through the red tape to pull permits, and shared this phenomenon in broad daylight at Ringer Park. Hats off to the organizers and the participants for their tireless work in making Boston a better place to live.

Miguel de Braganza

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