Peoples Street Fest helps bring a diverse community together

DJ Edica, a Corpus Christi native, performing a DJ set at the People Street Music and Film Festival on Friday, Oct. 7.

The Peoples Street Music and Film Festival began modestly; a handful of vendors and stalls, a couple dozen attendees traveling between Peoples Street and the Art Walk, and a dance remix of Kate Bush’s “Running up that Hill.” But, as the sun began to set and the streetlights came on, while the rest of the city got ready for bed, the party on Peoples Street began to come to life. An area traditionally coated with the dim orange glow of downtown was instead painted with color and bursting with energy.

The heart of the city earned its name as people of all ages, classes and styles gathered to enjoy a weekend of fun and support local businesses and artists.

Originating as a block party during the height of the pandemic, this past weekend marked the official inauguration of the Peoples Street Music and Film Festival, a celebration of South Texas’ artistic community. The festival brought in musical talent from across the region, ranging from DJ sets to punk and surf rock. Saturday evening offered several short films and music videos to view.

The crowds themselves offered their own display, that of the wide diversity of the city. Individuals and families from all walks of life came out to enjoy the nightlife — casually dressed older couples, college age hipsters and young punk rockers standing among the same crowd, enjoying the same performances.

The festival also provided a chance for people to connect with local organizations, such as the Texas Campaign for the Environment. Chloe Torres, a canvasser with TCE, attended the festival on Saturday to help promote the organization and the local Democratic Socialists of America, working from a stand in front of Produce. They and their organizations regularly engage in and manage events throughout the city in coordination with other grassroots organizations.

“These spaces are necessary for cultivating relationships across race, ethnicity, geographies and many other factors that can isolate us from one another,” Torres said, emphasizing the importance of what they refer to as “third spaces,” events and venues outside one’s home and workplace that are free and accessible to everyone.

“They serve as opportunities for us to meet people we wouldn’t have necessarily come across before and share moments of joy and intimacy with each other,” Torres said.

Beyond just Peoples Street, many more local events are scheduled for the coming weeks and months. This includes the Artwalk on the first Friday of every month, Jazzfest on Oct. 14 and the annual Greekfest on Nov. 5.

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