August 3, 2006


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Project goth star
Bands duke it out for a spot at Sept. festival
By Erica Febre

This year’s New England Punk, Goth and Metal (NEPGM) Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24.

Although the location of the festival has yet to be released, alternative bands from around the area are already trying out for a slot at the show. Last year, the show was slated to play Lowell, Mass., but, facing opposition to the festival from the city, held shows in Haverhill and Worcester.

“The NEPGM Festival is a combination of several things — a celebration of the diversity of alternative music in New England and also a chance to bring a change of ethics to the music scene. We are building a community of people who actually care about the local scene. We care a great deal about the little guy, or the underdog, if you will,” said Matt Marchesi, an organizer for the NEPGM Festival.

On Sunday, Aug. 6, more than 20 alternative bands will be rocking the city of Manchester to represent the underground music scene as they take part in NEPGM’s auditions for the festival. Originally, the auditions were booked to take place only at the Spyder Room. But with so many bands trying out, organizers decided to hold half of the auditions at Rocko’s in Manchester as well.

The auditions aren’t just about the festival; they can be a learning experience for the bands.

“This isn’t a battle of the bands. If they have it, we invite them to play [at the NEPGM Festival]. If they don’t, we tell them what they need to work on and thank everyone for their efforts,” Marchesi said.

Last year’s NEPGM Festival featured more than 40 bands in two days. As the founder of the festival, Marchesi along with the help of his partner, Anderson Mar, says that he put a lot of planning into last years event.

This year’s management team consists of 12 people and there will be two stages at the festival, allowing for more band coverage. Marchesi expects to book at least twice as many bands this year.

“I’m very impressed with the number of responses from bands that want to be a part of this. The Manchester scene itself has impressed me, so much that I’m considering planning a similar festival for Manchester exclusively next summer,” Marchesi said.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at

Oh my Goth!
The NEPGM auditions will take place on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 1 to 9 p.m., at two locations in Manchester — Rocko’s, 253 Wilson St., and the Spyder Room, 342 Lincoln St. One price will get you into both locations.

More information is available at