Two Authors Celebrate New Book and New Album with “Punks in Peoria” Festival


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Punks in Peoria.

“A friend of mine and I wrote this book about punks in Peoria based on our research of experiences in the underground punk rock scene in Peoria,” said one of the authors.

Along with the release of the new book and album, the two writers organized the “Punks in Peoria” festival on Sunday at the Casa de Arte in Peoria.

“What does the punk rock music you know have in common with Casa de Arte?” Well, that’s art. We want to be a place where art is accepted here, all kinds of art, it doesn’t matter whether it’s music or food, ”Vargas said.

Casa de Arte owner and artist Arturo Vargas said for their first big event since the pandemic they wanted to bring something new.

“We want different styles and cultures to come in and not just Latin American music, so I’m really happy to start with this one haha,” Vargas said.

Going back to the 1980s and 1990s, writers Jonathan Wright and Dawson Barrett said this book uncovered what the punk rock scene in Peoria was like and its effects on the community.

“We weren’t sure exactly how this was going to play out, we had to do a lot of research, we did 80 in-depth interviews,” Wright said.

Wright said that after developing these friendships, it was time for a reunion. 15 groups took to the stage on Sunday.

“Some bands haven’t played together for 10-20 years, sometimes even 30 years and so it’s just a way for people to come together in different kinds of generations of the underground music scene … release of the new book Wright said.

“Punks in Peoria” can be purchased from Lit on Fire Books.

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