Outbreak Festival 2022: Day Two

Day Two of Outbreak Fest was an emotional rollercoaster. In order to fully understand the energy contained inside the Bowlers Exhibition Center on the morning of the second day, it needs to be known that the news of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade had broken the day prior. As it turns out, the cell reception was so bad inside the festival grounds that most of the festival-goers didn’t hear the news until they left at the end of the first night. So much of hardcore music and culture is speaking out about politics; hardcore kids are typically tuned into politics and are very outspoken regarding their beliefs.

When they showed up for Day Two, they were angry and ready to let off some steam.

When Mannequin Pussy took the stage, a photo of an American flag burning appeared on the screen behind them. Vocalist Marisa Dabice started their set by telling the crowd, “You won’t see our name up here today, because this felt more important.” She continued to explain how crazy it felt to her as an American woman, knowing that she would return to her home country with less rights than what she had left with. Similar sentiments had been repeated by artists throughout the rest of the weekend.

As the day unfolded, the outside world faded out and the mood of the festival began to shift. That night, the block of bands closing out the main stage were Movements, followed by Higher Power, Citizen, Basement and Turnstile. Each band brought its respective emotionally charged set — ranging from sad to high-energy and bouncy to sad, but dancey to heartbroken to hopeful — and somehow, the crowd didn’t miss a beat.

This five-hour chunk of time was easily the most energized the crowd had been all weekend.

Despite being one of the softest bands on the bill, Movements garnered quite the reaction; this is a band that has been featured on plenty of mixed bills and has attracted mild push pits during their sets. However, this particular Outbreak crowd was much crazier than Movements has been known to pull. Characteristic of its hardcore nature, moshpits broke out all over the floor with more crowd-surfers than one could count. Movements ended their set with “Daylily”, the seasonal depression anthem of the hardcore scene. Fans poured onstage to scream the words. Toward the end of the song, the crowd was so packed in onstage that fans were able to lift frontman Patrick Miranda up and carry him off to the side, leaving no one to sing in the mic. Instead, the crowd was left to sing out the last verse as the band continued on instrumentally.

The hectic nature of Day Two was helped by the fact that this was the most attended day of the festival. While weekend passes had been completely sold-out prior, single day passes were available for Days One and Three. Day Two was the only completely sold-out day of the festival. People were packed tightly into the main room.

By the time Turnstile took the stage, the main room was so hot from all of the bodies, glasses and camera lenses were fogging up… but, that didn’t stop the people from moving. Turnstile ended the night with an electric set full of backflips and stage dives. The band is slowly taking over the world, having appeared on several mainstream festivals within the last year — including Coachella — and even performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier this year. There is something about this band that makes the hardcore community go especially nuts in the best way possible. The uplifting and positive energy this band brings to their performances was the perfect note to end on after such a long day.

Photography by Jayme Bigger

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