$13 General Admission
Desolation Center captures the untold story of a series of Reagan-era guerrilla music and art performance happenings in Southern California that are recognized to have paved the way for Burning Man, Lollapalooza, Coachella, and collective experiences that have become crucial parts of alternative culture in the 21st century. The documentary splices interviews and rare performance footage of Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Swans, Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Savage Republic, and more, documenting a time when pushing the boundaries of music, art, and performance felt like an unspoken obligation.
Directed by Stuart Swezey, the creator and principal organizer of the events, Desolation Center demonstrates how the risky, and at times even reckless, actions of a few outsiders can unintentionally lead to seismic cultural shifts. Combining Swezey’s exclusive access to never-before-seen archival video, live audio recordings, and stills woven together with new interviews, Desolation Center captures the spirit of the turbulent times from which these events emerged. More than just the story of a series of wild and unorthodox happenings, Desolation Center holds true the spirit of freedom and possibility that Punk and its clarion call of creative deconstruction embodied.
“…a debt of gratitude must be given to those who attended these shows with the foresight to film them for posterity. This footage is incredible and helps bring the atmosphere of these events to life…” – J. Kevin Lynch, The Void Report
“The (occasionally hilarious) recklessness but also the crazy creativity that made these events possible all come through loud and clear…” – Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter