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The Temple Tantrum will put all the colors of DIY on display in Curtis Park over Labor Day weekend.
The Temple Tantrum will put all the colors of DIY on display in Curtis Park over Labor Day weekend.
Courtesy of Temple Tantrum

Lewis Neeff is Throwing a Temple Tantrum – Denver's Latest DIY Fest

At its best, the Temple Tantrum block party on Labor Day weekend will be part Meow Wolf, part Comic Con, part music fest and part interactive public art installation – on the whole, a happening like nothing Denver has seen before. To make that happen at the Temple on 24th and Curtis streets, artist Lewis Neeff is seeking a little crowdfunding help from the public he hopes to serve.

Neeff launched an ambitious $10,000 IndieGoGo campaign for Temple Tantrum late last week, with enticing pre-sale tickets for the event on September 1 and 2 offered as perks for making a donation, as well as posters, mixtapes, postcards and after-party access. But the real gain for pitching in is getting to see it happen: Along with headlining musical acts Pictureplane and Plantrae and a roster of twenty local bands, the event will include a juried fun-house art installation and performance art, drag queen wrestling, a comedy stage, food trucks, booze and a call for partiers to come in creative costumes.

Creative costuming, like Lewis Neeff’s "Untitled (Telephone Pole Suit with Batboy and Fuck Trump),” is welcome at Temple Tantrum.
Creative costuming, like Lewis Neeff’s "Untitled (Telephone Pole Suit with Batboy and Fuck Trump),” is welcome at Temple Tantrum.
Lewis Neeff

As the self-proclaimed “ringleader of the Temple” (a Curtis Park building housing artist studios and gallery space, the nonprofit youth-arts mentorship program PlatteForum, the Denver Zine Library, a bakery and pizza shop, and Processus, a member-supported shared art workspace), Neeff wants to create a public event and street party that mirrors on a larger scale what makes DIY spaces so special. And he’s no stranger to making things happen: As one of the Temple's denizens, he’s been shaking the place up with community-building creative projects all along, but never before on this scale.

Temple Tantrum has been a long time coming, he says. Before it even had a name, Neeff referred to the festival as “my version of a circus” a year ago, in a tease written into his Westword 100 Colorado Creatives questionnaire. In the present, he’s changed that to “DIY Exploratorium,” and indeed, the Tantrum is shaping up to be hands-on in every aspect (Neeff’s team includes sponsorship by KGNU Presents, Meow Wolf, PlatteForum, Two Parts and Understudy). Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?

Lewis Neeff is Throwing a Temple Tantrum – Denver's Latest DIY Fest (3)
Courtesy of Temple Tantrum

Experience Temple Tantrum on Saturday and Sunday, September 1 and 2, from 1 to 10 p.m. daily on the block surrounding the Temple, 2400 Curtis Street in Curtis Park. Discounted pre-sale tickets ($20 for one day, $40 for both days and $30 for one-day drink passes; prices go up to $25, $50 and $45 after the campaign ends on July 20) and gear are available now as crowdfunding perks on the Temple Tantrum IndieGoGo page. Proceeds will benefit PlatteForum.

Learn more about Temple Tantrum and special pre-summer events leading up to the street fest at the home page, on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. For artists interested in applying to be part of the Temple Tantrum’s installation and performance exhibitions, an online call for entry is open through July 17.

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