When you think of a subculture, the first thing that probably comes to mind is some under-the-radar gaggle of weirdos who keep to themselves and make your mom nervous. But what happens when a group of locals whose passion for music and their community gather forces and insist that their beloved "subculture" go mainstream?
South Florida native, local scene-starter, and Subculture CEO Phillip Roffman and his team of talented movers and shakers are here to break through the ceiling of normalcy and redefine subculture as we think of it.
"Subculture was born out of the idea that local businesses, vendors, artists, etc. — both known and underground — could come together for the purpose of putting together significant events," Roffman says. "It's been misunderstood that festival events must have a [big-name] sponsor." With this in mind, Roffman and his motley crew are living up to their message of keeping events "community grown" by sponsoring Record Store Day at Radio-Active Records this past May and by presenting a double-feature film extravaganza, "Sincerely Yours, Marty McFly." Subculture will screen iconic angsty teen flicks Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club at this mid-July fiesta. The group's goal of engaging locals, musicians, artists, and small-business owners in the process of community-building resulted in a long list of cohorts for this affair, including Jolt Radio, Laser Wolf, South Florida Music Obsessed, Urban Brew, and Radio-Active Records.
"Sincerely Yours, Marty McFly," with Suede Dudes, Beach Day, and Band in Heaven. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at Classic Gateway Theatre, 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $10. Call 954-763-7994.
Subculture employs us all in supporting its vision of a thriving and unified economic community. "We do this because we are largely invested and connected to the South Florida lifestyle," Roffman says of Subculture's doctrine. "And as a young company, we are open and affected by its ever-evolving nature."
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Reminiscent of an adolescent sleep-away summer camp — sans mosquitoes, burned marshmallows, and sleeping bags — Subculture and its allies will blast the Classic Gateway Theatre, a Fort Lauderdale staple, back to the '80s with "Sincerely Yours." They are hoping this sets them on their journey to becoming a household name.
Subculture's Katie Lewis says the venue "displays the 'Golden Age of Hollywood.' The owner, Arthur Friedman, believes it's time for the '80s films and stars to shine." Friedman says of these cinematic hits, "There was much storytelling in those films and their soundtracks that isn't as present today."
The films aren't the beginning and end of it. Remember, this is a party for the whole cultural community. "Sincerely Yours" will also include live music by Broward and Palm Beach acts like Suede Dudes, Beach Day, and Band in Heaven (playing their soundtrack favorites), DJ collective JAMS spinning the '80s, art by Kristin Frenzel, and crafts by Indie Craft Bizarre. They're clearly covering their party bases.
"'Sincerely Yours' is more than just spotlighting the '80s era," Roffman says. "It's to benefit a thriving business community. Subculture recognizes that if local companies can partner with others for an entertaining and unique cause, we all benefit from each others' success."