’18
Izzy
Lake Worth, FL
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Environmental Studies

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making stuff exploring the James being messy stompin' to live music vegan food

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Double Trouble: Two Festivals, Two Weekends: Part I

October 18, 2014

  Richmond: Some call it the city of festivals. Posters for festivals and events around the city are pasted up in about every local coffee shop: Fall Line Fest, ‘Zine Fest, The Richmond Folk Festival, Maker Fest, The Virginia Literary Festival, and the James River Film Festival, just to name a few fests that are all occurring or have recently occurred. 

     So naturally, I hop on my bike on Saturdays to go scope out what Richmond has to offer me in its abundance of festiveness. The last couple of weekends I hit two remarkable festivals: The Richmond Zine Fest and the Richmond Folk Festival. 

zine poster
Part I: The Richmond Zine Fest

    If the first questions on your mind are “What the heck is a zine? Why does Izzy talk about all this obscure stuff all the time?”, then well, I can’t answer that second question, but I’m happy to give you the textbook answer for the first.

    Here’s one I like from undergroundpress.org:

A zine (pronounced “zeen,” like “magazine”) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet or magazine, usually produced by one person or a few individuals. A zine can be about whatever subject its creator decides upon, or it may contain a variety of subjects and writing styles within the same issue. Zines can be about anything- poetry, comics, and reviews- there are no rules.
  
   In order to feel a part of the Richmond zine culture, and also so I had something to barter in lieu of cash, I made my own zine to bring to the Richmond Zine Fest!

baby zines

Yep, those are my pocket-sized zine babies I made in 5 hours. No biggie. 

    Saddling up with a cotton sack full o’ zines, I headed out to Diversity Thrift where Zine Fest was supposed to take place. I couldn’t prepare myself for the electric atmosphere generated by at least 40 zinesters crowded into one room- which made for an overwhelmingly glorious experience. I was immersed in an underground society that usually hides behind a photocopier or typewriter. Now I was face to face with all sorts of individuals who were displaying their love of DIY, veganism, beekeeping, and activism of every variety. 

    Here are just a few of my favorite zine titles I acquired at Zine Fest:

“Ungulates: Our Pals With Hard Toes”, “What’s Beneath the Dirt”, “Hole in the Ground”, “Ways to Be Together in the Same Place”, “Nothing Ever Evaporates”, “Radical Domesticity: The Sewing Issue”… and of course many other wicked zines I would be more than happy to lend out as my dorm's sole zine distributor. 

This is one zine vendor from which I bought one of my favorite zines that day: “Radical Domesticity.”

radical

A moment at Zine Fest in the midst of the creative chaos. 

zinesters

   Once I had bartered away all my zines, I sauntered out of that room, exhausted by the mass of creativity and cool haircuts. What I came away with was a feeling of sincere admiration and camaraderie that was tucked away in a funky thrift store in a strange part of Downtown. With my cotton sack made considerably heavier with new zines- nuggets of what each individual brought to Zine Fest- I rode away into the sunset with my clunker of a bicycle. Elated by the crisp fall air that had finally set in, I could imagine myself writing zines about my own adventures around this festival city.

 My next foray into Richmond festivals will be featured in part two of this post: The Richmond Folk Festival!

Howdy!

My name is Isabella, casually known as Izzy. I'm a kid from the swamp (South Florida) who came to Richmond to explore- my surroundings, my academic and artistic interests, and my personal self. When I stumbled upon UR, I was a high-school senior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts who was swimming (or perhaps drowning) in a sea of college applications and presentation, unaware of where I would be in less than a year. It's exciting to be a newly born spider, one who is released upon this beautiful campus, with no other goal than to get as much out of my educational experiences as possible. As a Spider diarest, I will try to recount my adventures in their fullness as I foray across The Commons, The James River, and the downtown art scene with only a bike and a backpack. Hold on to your handlebars folks, I'm intent on chasing the opportunities and the oddities just beyond the pointed arches....