The Once-Banned Allston DIY Festival Is Now Back On
That’s all that organizers of the Allston Do-It-Yourself festival, a yearly free, all-ages, sober event celebrating DIY culture, could say to express their excitement about being allowed to return to a park in Allston, after a months-long stand-off with city officials almost put an end to the gathering after the group was denied permits.
While the date has not been finalized for this year, the location is set in stone, and organizers and attendees will be allowed to return to Allston’s Ringer Park where they have been hosting the DIY series for the last four years.
Organizers do not yet have a parks permit to hold the event, according to city officials, but that is currently being worked out.
The Allston DIY Festival describes itself as music and skill-shares gathering founded on “punk, anarcho-communist, anti-authoritarian” values. It features bands, and free workshops, and activities. In May, the Parks and Recreation Department denied an application from the group because of prior noise complaints, trash allegedly left at the site, and a failure to accurately fulfill their permit requirements, they said.
But that decision has since been reversed after organizers worked closely with the city, and a petition highlighting the event’s importance gained momentum.
“The planning now focuses on Ringer Park only. Organizers must finalize some details before the date and time are set,” said the city’s Parks and Recreation spokesperson, Jacquelyn Goddard.
Goddard said the department was “pleased” that festival organizers agreed to address certain issues, that originally left the event’s fate in limbo, such as scaling back the hours, making arrangements for vehicle parking, and moving the stage where the bands perform away from where people live near the park fence line. “We appreciate the cooperation of the festival organizers in discussing parameters for the event,” Goddard said.
Back in May, a petition was started by the DIY organizers after they were denied use of Ringer Park based on past complaints over the noise and overcrowding, as well as trash that was allegedly strewn across the lawn. Goddard said during last year’s festival police had “so many calls” that it required officers to meet with organizers after the event to talk about ways to improve the meet-up in the future.
“This year’s festival—should our permits be approved—will be comprised of neighbors, local musicians and artists, Boston Public School students and their families, as well as local organizations and community based charities. If the community can’t use the park, who can—and what is it there for? This is a petition not just for our festival, but for all events in the park,” organizers wrote back in May.
But with everything squared away for the most part, they can now focus on bringing in new talent, and skill-share projects, to make this year’s event a success. “Remember: Respect the place, clean up after yourself, and let’s continue to build community,” organizers said on their website.