Youth Avoiders from France.
Youth Avoiders from France.

Youth Avoiders from France.Some would argue that this year’s Damaged City Fest lineup wasn’t as strong as those of years past. Perhaps that’s true if your metric is number of buzzy bands on the list, but 2016 was easily the most interesting and diverse iteration of the three-day punk and hardcore festival. History has taught attendees to place their faith in the hands of organizers Chris Moore and Nick Candela, whose good taste means that at least three bands you’ve never heard of will become your new favorites and have you running to the merch room.

With an impressive arsenal to draw from, Damaged City boasted a strong showing from local bands with newer hardcore groups like Stand Off, Protester, Sem Hastro, Kombat, and Zipper (who played its first set at the Sunday matinee), mainstays Coke Bust and Collusion, lovable weirdos Homosuperior and Flasher, and even a reunion set from The Goons. This weekend, we heard bands from Japan (Systematic Death), France (Youth Avoiders, Stalled Minds), Spain (La U.R.S.S.), Brazil (The Pessimists), Ireland (Disguise), and the U.K. (Tau Cross) in churches, basements, and galleries scattered across the District. But the most impressive part of Damaged City is easily those who aren’t playing in any bands or doing any organizing, who come from every corner of the country and the world for this punk family reunion, simply because they know that this distinct combination of lineup, community, and vegan snacks doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Check out more photos after the jump.

The Goons from D.C.

JJ Doll from New York.

Flasher from D.C.

Post Teens from Florida.

Sem Hastro from D.C./Brazil.

Homosuperior from D.C.

Zero Boys from Indianapolis.

Systematic Death from Japan.

Blood Pressure from Pennsylvania.

Busted Outlook from California.

Dame from Massachusetts.

Triage from Toronto.

Radiation Risk from New York.

Sheer Mag from Philadelphia.

S.H.I.T. From Toronto.

Tørsö from California.

Coke Bust from D.C.

La U.R.S.S. from Spain.

Protester from D.C.

Firewalker from Massachusetts.

Crowd during Holders Scar.