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Punk-o-thon brings the pit to the OPOP

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June 28, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

A couple months ago, Fred Lara started listening to punk bands on mp3.com and began dreaming up a venue for local punk fans to get their fix of the genre without having to travel out of the Valley.

This weekend, 20-year-old Lara's dream will see fruition as the first-ever "Punk-o-thon" invades the Old Post Office Pavilion in El Centro on Saturday.

Lara said there is a market for punk music in the Imperial Valley, which he credits as reasons for dreaming the event up.

"There's a lot of punk rockers down here," Lara said. "Most people have to go to San Diego. It's kind of hard to drive 120 miles to watch a show.

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"It's not your stereotypical punk; some of them go into the hardcore punk, some pop," Lara said of the diversity of the bands playing the event.

Punk-o-thon will start at 7 p.m. Saturday at the OPOP, 230 S. 5th St. in El Centro. Admission is $4 and tickets may be purchased at the door.

Lara will perform with his band, 2SomeExtent on July 27.

Because the Imperial County Arts Council placed a time limit on the event, Lara split the event over two months. Lara also said the split allowed for two rival bands to play on separate evenings. Lara wouldn't say which bands were rivals.

Punk-o-thon's second evening is at 7 p.m. July 27 in the OPOP.

For the last two months, Lara has dealt with several band cancellations but is hopeful the current roster will not change.

Should the event prove successful, Lara has dreams of holding more Punk-o-thons and encouraging other non-local punk bands to promote themselves locally.

Lara also hopes to feature more local bands.

"A lot of people don't even know that there's (punk) bands here," Lara said. "I just want everybody to know that there are punk bands and to support them."

The Punk-o-thon is open to all ages and Lara said all bands have been warned to keep their acts clean.

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