Story By Kerry Ssemugenyi
It's a balmy summer evening. We meet up with Davita Guslits and her small army of loyal collaborators in the heart of Victoria Park. What follows is a brief record of time discussing all things punk, with an emphasis on the upcoming Collateral Jamage Festival.This conversation gave us the opportunity to dig into what makes punk punk, beyond its ostensible definitions.
The punk scene in London, Ontario is steeped in decades of tradition, and the do-it-yourself subculture has a momentum that’s unique and very much its own within the city’s music history. Collateral Jamage Festival expresses the current moment of punk’s story—the “story” here being that DIY culture breeds creativity which, ultimately, breeds community. Reveling in all things punk, Collateral Jamage is interactive, combative, and aims to go outside its assumed genre. The festival is also set to incorporate acts that one wouldn't necessarily get to enjoy in London.
This is year three for Collateral Jamage. Like the inception of most good ideas, the festival was inspired by a perceived lack in the community by the festival’s founder, Davita Guslits, after attending punk festivals like Not Dead Yet, New York’s Alright, Acid Kat, and This is Austin. Says Guslits: “It seemed like there was this incredible underground community of punk bands that were just completely skipping London on their tours, and I wanted to find a way to put London on that circuit. I also felt that if these really fast, weirdo punk bands played London, it would inspire a wave of really sick new bands. So basically, Collateral Jamage is my way to subliminally influence the local music scene to appease my own particular music taste.”
In partnership with Forest City Gallery, Call the Office and Zine Fiends, Collateral Jamage will have a variety of activities taking place on the festival’s many sites. Bands will offer everything from pop punk and aggressive punk to unexpected moments of r&b and soul, emphasizing the fact that “punk” isn't just one thing. Other highlights of the weekend include a festival pool party, and a matinee show on Sunday afternoon.