The Earthquaker Days of Summer

by Ted Zep


Every year when I was a child, my mother would say the same thing after the conclusion of Independence Day.

“Once you hit the Fourth of July, summer is basically over.”

I hated when she’d say that because the end of summer meant one thing: back to school. And a return to school was the bane of the existence of any kid growing up in Akron at that time, or any time, really.

Anyway, I’m older now and some things never change. I still live for summer each year and the promises it holds. And, ironically, I’m still involved in the world of education so I still tremble under the looming specter of “school” returning each fall.

But this is a different Akron than the one from my formative years. We’ve made strides to make the most out of not only our precious sunny days but also the talented people within the borders of the Rubber City. Events like Signal Tree Fest and PorchRokr have blossomed into must-attend celebrations of the 330 that are filled with music, food, art and culture.

One such entry in this cornucopia of summer entertainment is EarthQuaker Day. Now in its third year, the event is the brainchild of the good people who own EarthQuaker Devices, a local effects pedal manufacturer located in downtown Akron. The event is fun and incredibly eclectic.

Here is how it’s described in the press release for this year’s event:

“EarthQuaker Day 2018 is two-parts music festival, three-parts customer appreciation day, one-part effect pedal factory open house, one-part art installation, and one-part street fair with a pinch of fun and games, and a side of bazaar…”

The math may be a little fudged but the description is right on the money.

The entertainment this year will surely not disappoint. For instance, headliners This Moment in Black History generally put on a bonkers live show. I remember seeing them play shortly after they formed in 2001-2002 at the Beachland Tavern in Cleveland. They would amaze the audience with their aggressive and askew brand of punk rock.

Or what about Houseguest? Once labeled “the best pop band in the country” by the uber-hip literary magazine “McSweeney’s,” the group is coming out of kinda-sorta retirement to shred the EarthQuaker stage.

Rounding out the day are local darlings Shivering Timbers, The Man I Fell in Love With, Uno Lady and Lisa Bella Donna. It’s an impressive roster of talent.

Additionally, there will be clinics lead by Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos) and Lisa Bella Donna (EYE). The seminar I absolutely refuse to miss is being held by Juan Alderete, who has most notably worked with Marilyn Manson and the Mars Volta.

In addition to the music, there will be a wide assortment of local art and business installations, guided workshop tours, door and raffle prizes and games.


EarthQuaker Day is Aug. 4. It runs from 10:30 am until 6:00 pm at the EarthQuaker facilities located at 350 W. Bowery St. Immediately after the event, the festivities move over to Lock 3 where there will be the finals of a guitar riff contest as well as performances by cover bands Black Sabath and Glanzig. The event is free and family friendly.

For more information about the event, visit:


Ted Zep has been a freelance culture critic for The Devil Strip since 2016. He firmly believes that summer ain’t over until he sez it’s over.