Agnostic Front Punks Give Haircuts to Raise Cash for NYC Festival

By Nicholas Rizzi on April 8, 2014 9:54am 

 Bass player of Agnostic Front, Mark Gallo (left), will give haircuts with guitar player Vinnie Stigma (not pictured) to help raise money for the Punk Island 2014 festival on Staten Island.
Bass player of Agnostic Front, Mark Gallo (left), will give haircuts with guitar player Vinnie Stigma (not pictured) to help raise money for the Punk Island 2014 festival on Staten Island.
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Theo Wargo/Getty Images

ST. GEORGE — A fundraiser for a punk rock festival on Staten Island will give donors the chance to get haircuts done by New York City hardcore legends.

Make Music New York's 7th annual Punk Island, which will be at Staten Island's Pier 1 for the second year in a row, started a Kickstarter campaign to keep the punk music playing at the waterfront.

Donors who kick in money toward the $9,000 the festival needs can get rewards such as T-shirts, personalized drawings, entry to an acoustic rooftop party and even haircuts from members of hardcore band Agnostic Front.

"We rely very heavily on the punk community in New York City and bringing people into it and getting gifts to people who didn't even know the Agnostic Front musicians can cut hair," said Joey Steel, one of the organizers of the event.

"We like that weirdness. We want to be able to show off cool things that New York City punks have to offer."

A fan who donates at least $100 can get a haircut by guitarist Vinnie Stigma. Another will get styled by bassist Mark Gallo from the hardcore band, which released its first album "Victim in Pain" in 1984. The band is currently on tour in Europe.

Gallo, who got his barber's license in 2013, has previously cut hair in a Long Island shop, according to the band's Facebook page where fans joked about getting mohawks from Gallo, even though members of the band sport neatly-trimmed or shaved heads.

Punk Island, set for June 21, will have seven stages with more than 90 bands curated by different people running the gamut of punk rock's sub-genres, including noisepunk, hardcore, ska-punk, transcore and even straight-up punk, Steel said.

The group started the festival as a way to let bands get their music out to new listeners and to create a community where punks around the city could unite and catch a free, all-ages show.

"The thing we try to do is just have fun and let people bring their music to each other," Steel said. "Bring it out of the basements and give the underground punks some fresh air."

Punk Island 2014 by Make Music New York
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Kickstarter/Louie Tremblay

Previously, Steel said the group and bands have funded the free festival themselves but decided to start an online fundraiser to pay for expenses like permit fees, electricity, porta-potties or more, and give the fans a chance to have a stake in it.

"In the past years, we've just eaten the costs and just dealt with it," Steel said. "A lot of bands have basically been helping pay for the event for a long time.

"We really need to springboard to another level. This Kickstarter will help hopefully put the ball in the hands of the people."

Currently, the group has nearly $1,000 donated towards the festival and the campaign ends on May 1.

While the festival has featured bands from as far away as Australia, Steel said organizers try to make sure a good amount of local bands from every borough are represented, and at least one Staten Island band is on every stage.

"It's very largely mostly local, New York City bands," Steel said. "We want to stress the community part. It's really a community day and that's what it's all about."

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