Pu in the Lou: A Q&A with PuFest co-founder Luc Michalski


@ RKDE/Foam
Sat. Sep. 8 - Sun. Sep. 9
PV Fe5t:
-18andCounting & TheOnlyEnsemble
-Bib (Omaha, NE)
-Blvck Spvde
-CBN (Omaha, NE)
-David Nance (Omaha, NE)
-Effluvium (Omaha, NE)
-Nineteen
-Sea Priestess

and many, many more
For this year's event, we reached to PuFest co-founder Luc Michalski for a Q&A to shed some light on the event's history and to preview what's in store for the 2018 iteration. All the videos in this post were handpicked by Luc to show the wide range of performers at PV Fe5t.

Wrong Division: The first PuFest was in 2014, with acts such as Guerilla Toss, Perfect Pussy, the Stnnng and many more. Could you talk about the genesis for the festival and any original goals you had when first starting it? 

Luc Michalski: Well originally it was 3 of us. Mike Herr and Pat Boland were also booking originally. We had seen lineups for LouFest and saw people getting excited or trying to. Beyond that I'll only speak for myself, but I know I felt like St. Louis deserved better. We have a thriving, beautiful and bizarre DIY community and it needed to be shown off in that way but done in a way that was accessible and real and raw. No glossy headshots and standing way far away and never coming near the artist. We needed something that put you in it. For those active already, it's what you love and are used to. For those who aren't, it's a great introduction to 'the other side'. 

PuFest has a strong identity with its ties to Cherokee Street and the local music community. How do you feel the event has evolved over the last four years? 

Cherokee has always been at the heart of this, for me. It's a beautiful place, a real intersection of cultures. I think it's important to have it there because it's still in between what's hip and what's actually going on. It's not too polished or square (at least yet), but it's not in the middle of nowhere or specifically dangerous. The event has evolved to become more of a community event. It's less about us/me as host(s), it's less about WHO is playing, it's more about all these pieces coming together, getting everyone in one place for a whole weekend. 


Can you talk some of your favorite performances, or even just moments, from PuFest past? 

That's a real tough one to answer, in a good way. Some that really jump out quick are Plack Blague, Supersonic Piss, Swear Beam, Ahleuchatistas, 18andCounting, Anwar Sadat... I should stop there. But every year the best parts and moments for me are seeing people come together. Seeing a friend I haven't in a long time, watching the event make people smile. 

PV Fe5t has a number of acts from Omaha, Nebraska – could you dive more into this year's lineup and share your goals with the 2018 iteration? 

Yeah! It wasn't on purpose. David Nance and BIB happen to both be from Omaha but are two of the first artists I asked this year, they're two of my favorites going right now. Then Thick Paint blew me away live. Then CBN and Effluvium knocked me out. I had to ask 'em all even though they're all Omaha. They're just doing a lot of cool shit over there right now. This year the lineup's goals are about the same as ever. A little bit of everything and booking artists that are working hard within the DIY spirit/vein. 


What, to you, makes PuFest different than other local or regional events? 

St. Louis does. This town always rules and brings the weird out in people. Artists like coming here because of it. People (I) like living here because of it. There also aren't a ton that are as eclectic a mix of music as this one is. It's not all punk or all 'outsider' or all anything. It's all over. 

What do you hope concert goers get out of attending this festival? 

I always say that almost nobody is gonna like every act. Just because it's so diverse. But I hope that somebody who, say, wouldn't usually go to a hip-pop show or a noise show can catch an act in that genre and kinda have a light bulb turn on. Or even just become aware of how many artists there are that they've never heard of in this town. There's still so many I haven't heard of and learning about them is crazy exciting to me. I think there are people that want to be a part of something here, or want to know about what's happening here but just don't know how, where or when to do it. I want this to be something that can be that. Also I want people to fuckin have fun, laugh, cry, see something they've never seen before and just feel OK and alive.

For more information on PV Fe5t including a comprehensive schedule and more information on the performers, visit http://pufest.tumblr.com/