Editor's note: We picked the top ten biggest shows going down in Indianapolis over the Fourth of July holiday weekend for our cover story this week. Click here to browse our huge shows by day, and click here to browse the complete music calendar for 102 more shows to hit up this weekend.
So, why should you go to these Friday shows?
Because Chaos Fest is a punk rock field day.
This Fourth of July weekend, if you're not too busy cooking out with Dad and doing cannonballs in the pool, Bloomington will host one of the most unique DIY festivals of the summer. With a strong community backbone, Chaos Fest II is a punk rock field day.
Chaos Fest works how Chicago's Riot Fest wishes it did. For three days, established venues, sweaty basements and more creative spaces hold shows, fundraisers, potlucks, movie screenings and art fairs. The events are staggered so you can stay entertained throughout the weekend.
Organizers say: "There is no centralized booking or planning for Chaos Fest. Anyone and everyone in Bloomington will be booking shows, teaching workshops, having 'zine readings, movie screenings, puppet shows, sleep- overs, game nights, camp-outs, and etc."
Bloomington folk-punk label Plan-It-X Records will provide many artists for the weekend. Ghost Mice, Garrett Walters and Mitch the Champ are just a few locals on the bills. Some established touring bands coming through are Left Astray (California), Cotton Tail (North Carolina), Logan & Lucille (Arizona), Dirty Kills (Canada) and Cutting Room Floor (New York).
One of the more unique events will take place on July 3 at the Bloomington Skate Park. Guests can bring their boards and Razor scooters to shred between bands. Starting at 6:30 p.m., this show features Left Astray with local support from hardcore punk outfit Cloaca, Indiana screamo legends Coma Regalia and former Bloomington locals Closet Burner.
July 3 is also the day of the PUNX-N-PIES potluck and benefit. Starting at 5 p.m. at Rev. Ernest D. Butler Park, bring a vegan pie to share, and, for a small donation, you have the unbelievable opportunity to throw a shaving cream pie at a friend (or enemy). All money raised will be donated to Positive Link, Southcentral Indiana's primary HIV care provider.
For a frugal way to end your weekend, head to Rhino's All Ages Club for the Affordable Art Fair. This event goes down early on Sunday afternoon, leaving your evening free for shows. All items cost $25 or less and are handmade by fellow Bloomingtonians.
All the Chaos Fest II shows cost either a suggested $5 donation or are entirely free and all the money you spend this weekend will either be donated to a good cause or given to one of the many touring bands trying to fuel their way home.
- TJ Jaeger
Friday, July 3 - Sunday, July 5
various locations (Bloomington), times vary, prices vary, all-ages
Because Five Year Mission is the coolest Star Trek tribute in the world.
Five Year Mission with Stackhouse and Count Rockula
Friday, July 3
Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St., 8 p.m., $7, 21+