International Noise Conference celebrates its 10th anniversary at Churchill’s Pub

By Erin Jester 

Frank Falestra is standing at the backyard bar of Churchill’s Pub, tinkering with a lighting board that has a broken switch.

It’s an urgent repair because the switch controls red light.

“Red is important at a rock bar,” he says.

Falestra, better known as Rat Bastard, is hailed as the godfather of Miami’s noise scene and the founder of International Noise Conference, an annual festival celebrating musical nonconformity.

Every year, the festival draws hundreds to three-decades-old Churchill’s Pub, where noise fans and other revelers gather to sing, dance, screech and, sometimes, bloody each other’s noses.

International Noise Conference will kick off its 10th year starting 10 p.m. Wednesday at Churchill’s, 5501 NE Second Ave. The festival continues at 9 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Falestra, 54, expects more than 100 bands to show up. That number is about the same as the last few years, but the fourth night of the festival is new, thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge.

Admission to the festival, as always, is free.

“We keep the money thing completely out of it,” Falestra said. “That’s probably why it’s still going.”

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