In a slight change of pace from previous weeks, in this installment I am going to shift focus to my experience this weekend at the Scranton Zine Fest, a local art, poetry, and music festival true to the DIY ethos. Providing a stage for local artists to gain exposure and sell their work, all while live music and poetry are performed; truly a testament to Scranton’s art and music scenes, respectively. Although in previous years the festival has been hosted at the Community Center in Tripps Park, this year offered a bit of a change of scenery: Adezzo, a local coffee shop, and the surrounding alley.
Showcasing a variety of art (everything from a heartfelt novella about a couple’s cat to t-shirts bearing Donald Trump’s image and the text “Future War Criminal” could be found) the festival is proof enough that although Scranton’s local creative scenes are somewhat stunted in comparison to years past, there is still quite a bit of life to talk about. In addition to art, attendees could also peruse a variety of the fest’s namesake-zines. A style steeped in the tradition of punk music (and perhaps a modern take on Paine-esque leaflets), zines were originally, among other similar things, ways for people to spread the word about artists and music that had caught their attention, as well as a way for individuals to spread political messages. In the years since the style has grown to cover nearly any topic, from odes to classic hardcore bands to dissertations on women’s rights.
Lastly, Zine Fest offers a stage for local musicians and poets in an environment where that opportunity has been slipping away. Past years have featured primarily acoustic acts playing mixed sets of covers and original music, however this year the fest featured full live bands, playing music of a variety of styles, as well as one of Zine Fest’s staples: local poets doing live readings.