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Neo-Nazis disturb Sun City music scene

Iziah Moreno
Underground music venue known as ‘The Dungeon’, located at 110 Poplar St., is set to an event featuring alleged neo-Nazi and fascist bands.

From goth shows to rock metal performances, venue, The Dungeon, has held numerous events for the local band scene in the borderland. Where once there was a place for people to express themselves freely and listen to live music is now a space growing a great loss for the culture.    

A controversial music festival was in the works making its way to El Paso.  

The event “Autumn Equinox Celebration” presented through the Ancient Rights Through Native Pride (A.R.T.N.P) organization.   

The music festival is composed of controversial artists and bands who are under the music genre of Nationalist Socialist Black Metal. This genre is comprised of heavy right-wing, fascist ideals.   

Some of the band’s names also raised concerns, with one being “A Killing Tradition,” “1932” and “Aryanwolf.”   

‘1932’ is a dog whistle because it is the year where many deadly street battles and daily assassinations occurred. More and more Germans came to terms with Hitler’s argument that parliamentary democracy was destroying Germany by catering to special interests.   

On top of the worrisome band names and intentions behind them, the flyers for the event all mention entrance is by invitation only. However, many music lovers from the scene expressed their concern and their disappointment in the event.   

El Pasoan Maliah Armendariz has held numerous events at The Dungeon and knew the owner.  

Armendariz speaks on how they feel about the controversial bands being welcomed into the venue.   

“For the longest time this venue was a big part of our community, a big part of our city if I’m being honest,” Armendariz said. “We’re beyond pissed and feel betrayed by Chris (Owner of The Dungeon), someone who gave his word that his venue was a safe place for us.”  

While there is growing frustration over the event, the owner claims it has been cancelled or changed locations, but there is still no confirmation.  Bands still keep posting flyers with The Dungeon being the designated location.   

“Although the majority of our community does not want to associate with him or The Dungeon, there have been individuals who side with Chris and see nothing wrong with these harmful bands coming to play here in El Paso,” Armendariz said.   

The venue was known to be a place for people to express themselves however they desired as they listened to local bands.   

“As someone who enjoys black metal music, I’m having a hard time understanding why someone would choose to potentially put out people in danger over the music/bands,” Armendariz said.   

Yet, this is not A.R.T.N.P.’s first event. They have even planned an event in Los Angeles.  

The Dungeon located at 110 Poplar St., is in central El Paso, where the Hispanic community is most prevalent, creating the chance for negative influences from the event.   

The fascist right-wing ideologies may impose trauma on the community as many are still recovering from the Walmart shooting in 2019.  Finch Smith has also been to The Dungeon before and has held their own shows at the venue.   

“It’s really disappointing that the venue would actually host these bands because the music scene and El Paso in general has a lot of POC/ LGBTQ+ people who would be targeted by these hate groups,” Smith said.   

The music festival was set to happen Sept. 22; however, there is no confirmation if the event will continue.  While the event raises discomfort and disappointment to locals in the area, it leaves a great impact of unity in the community.   

“It honestly makes me feel really unsafe that The Dungeon is providing a platform for these harmful Nazi bands,” Smith said. “I love my community a lot and I just want everyone to feel safe, welcomed and loved but with these events going on it’s really hard to feel safe.”   

Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Marco Hinojosa, Audience and Engagement
Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor for The Prospector. He is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring multimedia journalism with a minor in criminal justice. He plans to broaden his horizons as a journalist and work for a major broadcast company.
Iziah Moreno, Contributor/Photographer
Iziah Moreno is a freshman at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he is majoring in multimedia journalism. He is a contributor for The Prospector. He plans to pursue a future in photography and hopes to learn more about journalism as well.
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