Party full of people including wheelchair users

Events Guide

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When the Stimpunks community helps put on a show, we do so in the spirit of collaboration and iteration. We want to be a helping hand, not a wagging finger, as artists and venues help us build more inclusive and accessible events and spaces, as a community.

But more than anything, going back to shows after that time away showed me how ill-equipped my local scene was when it came to accessibility. Things that I used to joke about as quirks of the DIY Punk scene became real barriers…

No Fun Club – Cripple Punk Mag

House shows always present accessibility challenges because so little housing stock is truly accessible. Yet, house shows are where DIY scenes happen. They are where we build public space from private space.

Two of the most important developments that began in the 1990s, and continue to thrive today, are the staging of house shows and the establishment of volunteer-run community spaces. Both materialize DIY in important ways, but each has a unique historical trajectory.

In the face of such struggles, the creation of house spaces, volunteer-run spaces, and other punk- specific locations truly materialize DIY in powerful ways that also model what it means and feels like to do DIY together.

The emergence of the house as a DIY venue explicitly and implicitly challenges conceptions of the home as cut off from public life. Houses are transformed from somewhat isolated private spheres to pseudo-public spaces when punks decide to host shows in their homes. House show spaces are now standard locations for punk shows and are considered important options for DIY punk bands touring the U.S.; however, this contemporary awareness among punks that houses can function as venues did not develop uniformly. The contemporary DIY touring network is very much a product of efforts made in the 1980s but shifted and changed throughout the 1990s because of some limitations with the more common spaces used for shows during the ‘80s. Punk bands have played at houses since the music began.

Underground: The Subterranean Culture of DIY Punk Shows | Microcosm Publishing

There is, however, a major difference between these other uses of the home for collective music experiences and punk house shows. The people who live in the house and book the shows are enacting a DIY philosophy and politics, as are the bands that play and many of the people in attendance. The home space has in effect been appropriated to shift from a container for standard domestic practices to a pseudo-public place that offers an alternative venue option for many DIY punk bands that are often excluded from more official (or legitimate) live music venues.

Underground: The Subterranean Culture of DIY Punk Shows | Microcosm Publishing

For our shows, we strive to ensure wheelchair users (and everyone else) can:

pee, poop, eat, drink, sit down, and access quiet space and outdoor space.

We need to be able to pee, poop, eat, drink, sit down, and access quiet space and outdoor space.

Here are some guides and checklists for having safe, fun, and inclusive events.

The accommodations for natural human variation should be mutual.