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Exploring the Punk Underground at U + N Fest in Baltimore

The Maryland booking powerhouse showcased the rise of punk and garage rock from all over the East Coast.

All photos by Josh Sisk Baltimore booking powerhouse Unregistered Nurse threw their fourth annual U+N Fest this weekend (at local institution Ottobar) and it continue their tradition of excellently curated events. This fest is always a treat because they tend to eschew the big flashy nostalgia headliners and instead pack the line-up with interesting bands of today, and they also have a knack for finding acts right before they break big.


A fest like this were so many of the acts & audience are friends is great because it allows truly odd things to happen like area hardcore champs Angel Du$t performing with Angie from Big Mouth and Post Pink on vocals - dubbed Angie Du$t. Double Dagger/Pure Junk singer Nolen Strals even guested with them for a rousing cover of Agent Orange’s Bloodstains.

This year there was also a noticeable focus on cool young bands coming out of DC right now (including a few among those dubbed the “New Wave Of DC Hardcore” by music writers) like Pure Disgust, Loud Boyz, Red Death and Priests. Pure Disgust and Priests, in particular impressed me as DC bands I should be paying much more attention to than I have been. Local acts were also, of course, well-represented with beloved Baltimore band Roomrunner playing their final show ever on Saturday (which resulted in the most frenzied crowd antics of the entire weekend), along with sets from Wing Dam, Expert Alterations & Post Pink.

You have to have your headliners and out of town bands too, and this year the Unregistered Nurse crew had quite the line-up with Screaming Females and Sheer Mag each anchoring a different night, along with a packed slate of bands, highlights including Big Eyes, Creepoid, Blank Spell and Barreracudas.

U+N and Ottobar staff managed to pull off an event that felt both intimate as well as expansive, with an excellent group of artists and a relationship with the crowd that let people have fun but also feel safe. Bring it on for next year!



Screaming Females



Angie Du$t

Big Eyes

Pure Disgust

Wing Dam

Blank Spell

Loud Boyz

Expert Alterations


Josh Sisk is a photographer. You can check out more of his work here.