Though Lollapalooza took itself off the road and found a permanent home in Chicago nearly a decade ago, package tours featuring a roster of like-minded artists are still criss-crossing their way across the country. Besides, if you want to trace the roots of Upstart Fest, a four-date, three-state punk-rock showcase, it might make more sense to look back to the Anarchy Tour of the UK (the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, the Heartbreakers) in 1977 and even-earlier tours featuring rock ‘n’ roll pioneers like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Gene Vincent and Buddy Holly.
Upstart Fest, which hits Poughkeepsie’s Chance this Saturday, began last year as a single-day event, but its popularity was such that a Northeast tour with 14 different bands, including artists with many local devotees like the Jukebox Romantics and American Pinup, was not considered too much too soon.
“Punk-rock is very popular,” said Upstart Fest producer Travis Myers. “There has been a big resurgence in its popularity over the last few years…Punk-rock is definitely alive and well, and probably more relevant than ever.”
Upstart Fest kicks off at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Thursday, moves on to the El ‘N’ Gee Club in New London, Connecticut on Friday, and after Saturday’s extravaganza in Poughkeepsie wraps up at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Sunday. Punk, rockabilly, ska and numerous other genres will come together in explosive harmony as Upstart Fest rumbles through the Hudson Valley. Other bands performing include Far from Finished, the Independents, Two-Fisted Law and Lost in Society.
Upstart Fest comes to the Chance in Poughkeepsie this Saturday, August 11 at 5 p.m. General admission tickets cost $15. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/upstartfest or www.thechancetheater.com.