I Pity the Foo Who Misses Foo Fest

Taking over Providence and AS220 is the 18th annual Foo Fest. Saturday August 9, Empire Street will be turned into a summer block party with 12 hours of music, alternative art, performances, kid-friendly activities and plenty of food and drinks. Foo Fest highlights the creative and cultural scene that Providence has to offer, showcasing DIY technology with local artists and vendors.

Headlining this year’s Foo Fest is Psychic TV. Formed in 1979, the group is still led by original member Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Psychic TV’s punk, psychedelic, electronic experimental twist is the kind of high-energy artistic style that Foo-goers have come to expect from the fest’s headliners. Genesis, alongside local screen print artist and mentor Ian Cozzens, is a recipient of Foo’s annual Free Culture Award. These winners are chosen based on the work they do that incorporates freedom of expression — they embody the organization’s uncensored and unjuried missions. The Free Culture recipients break boundaries in the cultural arts, paving the way for new art and artists.

Along with 22 other local and national musical acts on the main stage all day, there will be interactive activities for all ages. Hands-on arts and crafts for children, like jewelry making out of paper beads, will be available from 1pm until dusk. Some highlights for the big kids? Live screen printing, 3D printing from the staff of Make Magazine and info about October’s RI Mini Maker Faire, RPG game character compatibility testing, ceramic demos with kickwheel and handbuilding from The Steel Yard, and new this year, The Dream Reliquary. This participatory art installation incorporates audience members’ dreams and includes an animate GIF photobooth where you can experience an original polaroid shoot or take a few digital shots that will be turned into a GIF file that you can take home.  Theatrical arts also get some love with a special performance from members of YASI Shakes at 87 Empire at 2pm. Join them to see pieces of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Food trucks and vendors will be sticking around for the day and evening, giving a chance for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores to grub on items from Julians Omni Bus, Like No Udder, AS220 FOO(D) and many more.

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