Keep the lights on

Emergency Marianarchy virtual music festival this weekend aims to Keep Jub Jub's Thirst Parlor alive

Oakland's Kittenhead is the Friday, Oct. 23 headliner for Emergency Marianarchy. Photo courtesy of Kittenhead

For the past 16 years, Marianarchy—a biannual Reno-based music festival fundraiser—has raised tens of thousands of dollars for community members in the service and arts industries experiencing financial hardship. This weekend, for an emergency Marianarchy, things will be a little different. (This is 2020, after all.) The beneficiary of the weekend’s offseason virtual event is the festival’s home base for the past 10 years—Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor.

On the outside, Jub’s is a watering hole with a bright red façade and a sign made up of white block letters on Wells Avenue. But on the inside—both literally and figuratively—Jub’s is a Reno institution that started as a Burning Man camp; it’s a home for quality and diverse live music; a matriarch of the Reno live music scene. But, like most homes for live music nationwide, the venue is feeling the effects of COVID-19.

“Individual artists are our normal model of beneficiary, but with 2020 being the year that it is, Jub Jub’s fits the bill as a family member who has been adversely affected by unforeseen illness,” Rory Dowd, aka Reverend Rory, said.

Rory Dowd and Nick Ramirez are the event’s co-hosts. Photo: courtesy Rory Dowd

Dowd is co-host of the festival, along with Marianarchy founder Nick Ramirez, who originally started the event to raise money for his late girlfriend Marianne “Marianarchy” Psota’s hospital bills after she became sick with an airborne disease.

The event follows a similar framework to past, in-person Marianarchy festivals—two days of live music and a silent auction. However, this time, the pre-recorded performances will be streamed via YouTube, the silent auction will be conducted on Facebook, and the typical suggested donation of $10 is replaced by a Go Fund Me page to “Keeps Jub’s Alive.”

A Facebook event under the name “Emergency Marianarchy: Keep Jub’s Alive” is the headquarters for the event, which occurs this Friday and Saturday evening. It is here that virtual patrons will gain access to the YouTube link, be able to bid on roughly 100 silent auction items, and purchase the off-season event’s official t-shirt. All proceeds go to Jub’s. 

Starting both days at 6 p.m., the roughly 40 pre-recorded shows (which are unique each of the two days) will stream for approximately two hours and run the gamut in terms of genre. Some acts are local, some are former Reno residents, and many have performed at Jub’s and/or Marianarchy in the past. But the one thing they all have in common is that when Jub’s and the team behind Marianarchy put out the original messaging in August for 5-minute videos, they heeded the call. What’s more, they typically ended their recordings with a short testimonial paying homage to Jub’s and explaining why they participated.

“They’re a lot of performers from across the spectrum and across the nation,” Dowd said. Including acoustic sets from singer/songwriters, full rock bands performing and recording in driveways, a recording inside Jub’s itself, personally produced music videos, hip-hop and DJ performers, stand-up comedy, and more.

The video is professionally edited together. Friday’s headliner is Kittenhead, a longtime friend of Jub Jub’s and Marinarachy. And Saturday’s headliner is The Lazy Universe, featuring Marinarchy founder Nick Ramirez on bass guitar.

Portland/Reno band The Lazy Universe with Nick Ramirez, former Gunshot Likker frontwoman Stacey Tolle, and Hudson Flanigan headlines on Sat. Oct. 24. File photo: Kris Vagner

The weekend event also features a silent auction of roughly 100 donated items, which will be posted to the Facebook events page along with a photo of each item, a text description, and a minimum bid. And then, just like on a piece of paper you might find at a silent auction, people will make comments as bids. Items include lights made by Jub’s owners Faith Zaumeyer and Josh Smith out of recycled alcohol bottles, two eclectic guitars refurbished by local musician Mike Reed aka The One Man Band, a painting by Greg Allen, jewelry, band merch, and planters. Bidding on auction items ends Sunday, Oct. 25, at noon.

For nearly a decade, Jub’s has facilitated emergency relief for the two groups they represent most—the service and arts industries. And while bars and social events are slowly reopening in Reno, the future is still uncertain as the pandemic has been devastating to Jub Jub’s finically, emotionally, artistically, and beyond, according to the Go Fund Me Page.

“We have friends in the Bay Area, in Wisconsin, the other side of the Mississippi, Texas. There’s just been a great outpouring of love and respect for Jub Jub’s,” Dowd said. “And hopefully, people do what they can to help keep the lights on.”


Emergency Marianarchy: Keep Jub’s Alive, including local and national music acts and a silent auction, takes place virtually Oct. 23-24 at 6 p.m. on YouTube. Start on Facebook for information and the YouTube link.


This article was funded by a City of Reno CARES Act grant and produced by Double Scoop and the Sierra Nevada Ally. Together, these news outlets are working to increase the amount of quality local arts and culture journalism.