There is no question that music is a common thread between all of humanity, a common unifying factor that brings all of us together. It helps us to find and express empathy with complete and total strangers who can live millions of miles away from us in completely different worlds, as well as help connect us to those in our immediate proximity. It is beautiful what music can do for us all, but what is even more powerful is when we take this common, unifying tool and use it to give back to those around us, showing that our passion is not just simply self indulgent but charitable as well. This is exactly what Punks for PAWS – a fast approaching festival in Philadelphia – has set out to do as it uses the medium of music to raise money for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, is a no-kill shelter located in Philadelphia that gives animals a safe, transitionary home while waiting to be adopted. PAWS operates two high volume, low cost facilities in Philadelphia that not only help to house abandoned or homeless animals in the area, but also help rescue organizations and pet owners afford basic veterinary care for the animals so that they can remain happy and healthy. No-kill shelters are increasingly important in the city, as about 6,000 of the nearly 24,000 homeless cats and dogs throughout the city are put down when introduced to other shelters. PAWS is also entirely privately funded, making events like this even more important so that animals can continue to live and eventually find loving, healthy homes where they can live the rest of their lives happily.

While there have been events in the past with the same name of “Punks for PAWS,” this current iteration of the festival is in no way connected to those but is a stand alone event. The primary day of the festival is June 4th at the Secret Empire in Philly with a $14 dollar cover charge, featuring Philadelphia hardcore punk legends Flag of Democracy as the headliners. The pre-show for the fest will be June 3rd, and will be hosted at the Lower Level in Northern Philadelphia with a $10 cover charge, featuring the unholy, nasty sludge/grindcore act Secret Cutter as the headliner. Each day, 50% of all proceeds will go to PAWS, while the other 50% of the money is used to cover touring bands so that they can continue to put gas in their vans and food in their stomachs. The entire festival was organized in true punk, DIY fashion by Kody Snyder of festival band N.E.G. (whose demo we recommend you check out here) in order to help give back to the abundance of stray animals in Philadelphia since, trust me, there are a lot of them. To find the addresses of the venue if you don’t know, you can go to the Facebook event page here, then post about it until someone eventually messages you with one (or just message the event host).

There’s also going to be a  seltzer bar on the main day of the fest, if that’s your type of thing

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