Chris Ewing is one of many notable faces in the Las Vegas punk scene. He’s also one of the biggest cheerleaders for Vegas punk bands like Rayner, Be Like Max and Anti-Vision, and he’s the self-deprecating, self-appointed “half-assed manager” of hardcore band Hard Pipe Hitters.
But it wasn’t until last year, when the lovable scene mainstay faced his drug addiction, that he decided he wanted to do more—to leave things better than he found them, he says. “It’s a very long and cathartic process,” Ewing says. “It’s about deciding what parts I want to carry forth with and what I want to leave behind.”
For Ewing, moving forward meant giving back, and there was nowhere better to start than within his own network of punk musicians and activists. “It’s evident that people want more out of their community,” Ewing says. “How do we keep having fun and doing the things we’re doing with a more socially conscious frame of mind?”
That sentiment birthed BloodFest, a fundraiser that benefits the Nevada chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation. The cause is a personal one for Ewing, who has Von Willebrand disease, a disorder that affects the body’s ability to clot blood. After developing a joint bleed last year, the NHF helped him find treatment he says he couldn’t have afforded without insurance.
Presented by Bad Moon Booking and Suckerpunch Concerts, the show will feature a mix of locals and touring bands, including Be Like Max, Pity Party, Sector 7-G, Younger Than Neil, Hard Pipe Hitters and Child Support.
All proceeds go to the NHF. Community organizers Surprise Party Collective will distribute zines focused on consent, Hard Pipe Hitters will sponsor a booth on mental health issues and resources and the Cotton Mafia will be selling limited-edition Las Vegas T-shirts.
“We became part of this community because we were dissatisfied with the way things were,” Ewing says. “But the only ones stopping us from enacting change is us.”
BloodFest March 20, 5 p.m., $10. Eagle Aerie Hall, 702-565-2672.