Now in its third year, the Not Enough! Fest may seem like any other queer or punk art and music festival, but it is anything but typical. Born out of a riot grrl reunion show, Not Enough! is September 7 and 8 at Refuge PDX (116 SE yamhill). In the past there have been over 22 bands and other performance groups in addition to visual art and film. It aims to not just showcase these arts but to actively create them. That is why it is a requirement that every act be both collaborative and brand new, that is, created specifically for the current year’s fest. This creates a dynamic and diverse festival that is constantly changing and tough to characterize.
It also creates a sort of chaos that can be difficult, but can also be quite freeing. They want to keep it queer and not be penned in by past experiences and expectations (although they do their best to make sure spaces are accessible, all ages and affordable). “We might decide to have it at the beach or in a parking lot [one day],” organizer Edgar Frias said. “We want this festival to grow based on the needs and wants and the voices of our community.”
Though Frias and fellow organizers Jen Nigg and Joseph Bonnell would not call Not Enough! punk per se, this malleability and spirit of collective DIy is the most important part of Not Enough. you can apply to perform by submitting online a fleshed out idea with fellow performers already lined up or you can meet others who are interested in participating at the “Night of Possibilities” that takes place a month or two before the festival. This all-ages social gathering took place this year at the Radio Room on July 23 and is a laid back way to get together for brainstorming and introductions.
They also leave time and space within the festival itself for people to mingle and come up with new ideas. Participants are encouraged to try media that are new to them. Nigg has been a musician for several years but this year she will take a seat behind a drum kit instead of her usual up front spot with a guitar. Ideas about incorporating informational or teaching workshops and food cooking and serving have found their way into the mix. And when you ask what performances or pieces they are most excited about the three have absolutely no idea — because anything can happen.
But the trio were able to identify some past performances that were particularly poignant, such as Wyatt Riot’s invitation to feed him on stage. The food and body-positive host of web series “Put It in your Mouth with Wyatt Riot” let audience members stuff his mouth in a performance that was as silly as it was vulnerable.
In the first year Bonnell created a piñata of his colon with audience members taking turns whacking at it until it eventually burst with streams of glitter and ticker tape. Since then the piñata has become one small Not Enough! tradition to break on the last day; this year they’ve commissioned one in the form of a chimera, the sigil of the fest. So bust out the dance moves, the theremin, and the finger paints because though It may feel like too much it’s really Not Enough.
Not Enough! encourages people in the diverse queer and LGBTQIXYZ communities of Portland to collaborate and create New projects for a process-based experimental music-art-performance festival. Not enough! is a festival that has come out of the desire to create safe, loving, and inclusive spaces for queers to perform in, while at the same time strengthening communication, bonding, and cohesion of those who perform in the festival. It has come out of the desire to have queers and those at the periphery create their own fun spaces to experiment, collaborate, and learn from.
Sept.7/8 @ Refuge PdX 116 SE Yamhill
About Alley Hector
Alley Hector is proud to be a Q, a PDXer and Just Out's Editor-in-Chief.