This weekend in Portland, Oregon, a house off East Burnside will be packed with folks coming out for two nights of amazing music brought to you by FOC Fest. Featuring women of color musicians from the Pacific Northwest, FOC Fest (short for Females of Color) started last year and was a total blast. As their 2011 zine stated, "we hope to bring FOC musicians together and recognize the awesome contribution they make to our respective music communities so that we can all support each other....It don't matter what you look like, smell like, sex like, or dress like. FOC Fest holds a mission to recognize difference and feel empowered in this recognition." This inclusive, all-ages show is local, DIY music organizing at its finest, and you're invited!
This year means a whole new lineup of acts, from the post-punk of Old Wars, to the genre-bending mariachi of Edna Vasquez, to the experimental sampling solo work of Amenta Abioto (and yes, a compilation album will be available at the festival!).
I spoke with Katherine Paul, one of the organizers and founders (and a member of Forest Park) about why FOC Fest is important, how she feels a year after the first one, and more. Read on for the Q&A and the full lineup of this year's festival.