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A couple questions for Pirad's Stephen Zumbrun

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The Piradical Productions logo
  • The Piradical Productions logo
With another all-ages venue on the ropes (The Dojo), Stephen Zumbrun has become something of a survivor on the local scene. His promotions outfit Piradical Productions turned five this year, while his all-ages venue the E.S. Jungle is heading into its third year of operations. So Zumbrun is celebrating by gathering friends and fellow travelers to play Pirad Fest 4, a weekend-long festival featuring a few name-brand acts (Jookabox, Totally Michael, Prizzy Prizzy Please, Harley Poe), alongside awkwardly-named bands we’re sure we’ve never heard of. NUVO recently caught up with Zumbrun to discuss the Pirad Fest, the dwindling number of all-ages venues and the ES Jungle’s two years of success.

NUVO: This Pirad Fest marks two years at the ES Jungle. Tell me about some of the ups and downs for the venue.

Stephen Zumbrun: The ES Jungle is having its biggest and best year so far. This year especially has been awesome with huge Company of Thieves, Mustard Plug, Chiodos, and Emery shows. Plus we've had huge events like Punk Rock Prom, Dude Fest, and My Friends the Pit Fest. One of the biggest highlights of the ES Jungle was booking the Zero Boys, a band I have wanted to book forever, and they put on a killer show to a sold out crowd. Personally, our Comadre show was a huge highlight for me because I got to book my favorite band in our venue.

The only difficult times we experience these days is getting as many people as we can through the doors. The music scene in Indianapolis is only so big and we want to take it much bigger. That means getting flyers in kids' hands who have never been to a local show before. That means getting people to their first concert, or first concert outside of Live Nation, and that is a hard thing to do. I think this year especially, though, because we have been around for two years, people recognize the name, know where we are, and we've seen a lot of new people coming out to shows.

NUVO: How do you think Indy's all ages scene is fairing right now?

Zumbrun: Man, I think we are really hurting in terms of venues. Not only has this summer seen the end of our house venues, The Halloween House and The 1511, but now the The Dojo seems to be down for the count. The Dojo was a huge asset to the scene where people could book smaller shows for an extremely affordable price. I feel like The Dojo also unified the all-ages scene in a lot of ways and another space needs to be started soon to pick up the slack. We are working on an additional smaller, more DIY venue called “The Hoosier Dome” but only time will tell if we are able to fill some of the void The Dojo has left.

Pirad Fest
ES Jungle, 6151 N. Central Ave.

July 23, 6 p.m., $7, all-ages
Feat. Totally Michael, Jookabox, The Last Domino, It’s All Happening, Hot Fox, Olympians

July 24, 1 p.m., $10, all-ages
Feat. Prizzy Prizzy Please, Harley Poe, The STDs, Stand and Deliver, In the Face of War, Nailbiter, As Told By Decker, Subatomic, Rat Storm, If Robots Had Flesh, The Day After, The Frontline, Indianapolis Forever, Never Ending Slumber

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Also: Take a listen to Piradical's Useless World Summer Comp 2010, a compilation CD featuring bands typically booked by Piradical released in collaboration with the local indie Useless World Records. As the Piradical website notes, they're fresh out of the initial pressing of 1000 copies, which were distributed in local high schools and at shows. But it's still available for free download via the link.

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