“San Diego is such a volatile music scene,” says Jesse Kranzler, an organizer of the three-day “I Promise” Che Café benefit show.
“One venue or group of bands usually keeps it going, especially in the all-ages community. The Ché is a huge part of that.”
The 21-year-old former guitarist of Witt and Snuffaluffagus, now living in New York for college, intends to raise $12,000 via proceeds from the benefit; a compilation CD, which features “People from San Diego, people who wanted to play the festival but couldn’t make it, and D.I.Y. people nationwide”; and T-shirt sales from bands Bane, Unbroken, and Seven Generations.
“The Ché had a bunch of gear [$5000 worth] stolen last year and they need to buy a new insurance policy for 12 grand,” says Kranzler. “They’re scraping by, so I wanted to do something more long term.”
The show will see WITT’s first reunion after parting ways a year ago. “It’s going to be tricky,” says Kranzler. “We found a video online, so we are trying to relearn our songs from that.” Also, performances will include national and local Ché booster bands No Age, HEALTH, XBXRX, Crystal Antlers, Retox, Innerds, Devfits, Monsterpussy, Kenseth & Brandon, and Realization Orchestra (members of WITT and XBXRX).
“January 6 will be the hardcore day, the 7th will be the indie and rock-and-roll day, and the 8th will be the experimental and noise day,” reads the event invite.
Entry is a sliding scale of $15–20 per day.
“It’s in the spirit of the venue to make it affordable,” says Kranzler.
“Each day of this festival is going to start EARLY, so we can fit all of the bands in and finish at a reasonable hour,” the invite reads. “Because of this, the schedule we post will be exactly how the bands are going to play, so please do not plan to get to the show ‘fashionably late’ or anything because you WILL miss some great bands! The schedule will be posted shortly after the rest of the lineup is up.”
The Ché Café was founded in 1980 as a “community space, DIY venue, vegan café, resource center for radical grassroots activists, and a whole lot more. We host all-ages shows, serve tasty vegan food, and host numerous political and social events.”