FED UP FEST originated in Chicago in 2013 as a result of conversations about the lack of queer and trans visibility in punk communities in Chicago, and a desire to carve out more space for these identities. A small group of organizers, some of whom had also organized C.L.I.T Fest Chicago in 2013, drew inspiration from Black and Brown Punk Show Chicago, Smash It Dead Fest Boston, C.L.I.T. Fest, and other radical music fests that prioritized the voices of women, people of color, and queer people in punk scenes. Additionally, the organizers reflected on our queer history, including the legacy of Limp Wrist, Alice Bag, The Dicks and other influential queer bands and artists, as well as local movements like Homocore Chicago.
The name Fed Up Fest is inspired from the short lived direct action coalition FED UP QUEERS (FUQ) that existed in New York city from 1989-1990, which grew out of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). By connecting the festival to queer and trans liberation struggles of our past, we acknowledge why we are here and pay homage to the people who paved the way for our narratives to be elevated. As a collective, we emphasize the necessary relationship between radical politics and activism and punk communities, and strive to foster this relationship with queer and trans voices at the center.
The past three years of Fed Up Fest have seen a wide variety of art, performances, workshops and radical resources shared between queer and trans people from all over the world. From discussions on anti-blackness to DIY bike maintenance, from local bands playing their first show to monumental performers like Alice Bag, Fed Up Fest works to center queer and trans voices in all aspects of punk communities. Thus far, our beneficiaries have been Project Fierce (2014), Street Youth Rise Up (2015), and Transformative Justice Law Project (2016). Our 2017 beneficiary is El Rescate. The 2017 festival will feature bands, workshops, tablers, readers and art that highlight the struggles and resilience of queer and trans people in our communities.