Seattle adds a new festival to its yearly activities with 206 Blast Fest, a new grindcore and powerviolence festival hosted by Audio/Violence Productions. Staring tomorrow, February 9, and running through Saturday, February 10, 206 Blast Fest features 22 different sets from bands like Endorphins Lost, Sidetracked, Noose Sweat and Impulse Noise.
Promoter Bird Arzoumanian explains that they started presenting local shows for touring acts since 2023. The inspiration for 206 Blast Fest came from Arzoumanian’s desire to see Seattle, and the state of Washington in general, become a destination spot for touring grindcore and powerviolence bands.
“I think the main inspiration for booking a festival is the California grind/powerviolence scene,” they explain. “It seemed like every day there is a lit show, fest or tour announcement that only pertains to Californians. That’s fine and I’m happy for them, but myself and many others can’t afford trips down to Cali every week so I wanted to throw something up here. What made me want to throw 206 Blast Fest was the desire to give WA grind/powerviolence fans the fest they want, to showcase as much local/regional bands as possible and to show the grind/PV community that Washington is worth a tour stop.”
206 Blast Fest is a completely DIY endeavor, with the bulk of the work and organization falling on Arzoumanian. It’s a large amount of work but it’s worth it to the promoter, who says 206 Blast Fest isn’t just a one-off event.
“This whole fest is DIY and independent. I don’t have any staff or structured systems. It’s just me, my notebook, and my computer. As an Fest Organizer, I not only have keep track of the bands, but the backline, venue details, presales and sales, and a myriad of small yet important details. It can be overwhelming to get everything sorted and double check yourself, but good work always gets rewarded. I don’t know what I would do differently yet, obviously there is always room for improvement though and I will be looking into ways to make running and attending 206 Blast Fest a better experience the next time it comes around.”
Arzoumanian says that the Washington grindcore scene is well represented on 206 Blast Fest, featuring nearly all of the scene’s staple bands, but feels like there is a disconnect to be bridged between casual and hardcore fans of extreme music.
“We have a lot of bands, nearly all of them are playing the fest, all full of insanely passionate and talented people. However, post-covid, a lot of the new people into metal, hardcore, etc. haven’t had it fully click with them yet. We’ll get big crowds for big bands like Hong Kong Fuck You and World Peace but struggle a bit for a smaller one-off bills.”
Through events like 206 Blast Fest and through the efforts of other promoters like Disease drummer Jim Wright, Arzoumanian says the future is bright.
“Without him, there would probably be no grind/PV in the area, period,” the promoter says. “I’m very excited to see the scene grow this year and next year, I feel like it’s gonna be a great year or two for grind.”
Tickets for 206 Blast Fest are available via Audio/Violence Productions’ Instagram.