An insider look at Wichita youths’ alternative music

By Victor Dixon, Editor-in-Chief

A robust community exists in the Wichita area that people are often surprised to hear about, even those who would fit right into it,

It’s the DIY alternative music scene.

I have been actively participating in this space for around two years, and it is one of the coolest and most welcoming spaces I’ve ever witnessed or been a part of. It is a beautiful melting pot of identities and backgrounds that unites goth, punk, metal, emo, grunge and many other music-based subcultures under one roof, which is usually just the ceiling of some guy’s basement.

It is far from perfect and has all the drama and discourse of any similar community, but it provides a fun place to be on the weekend and an opportunity to meet new people or bond with old friends over music.

There are many different venues to go to, and the shows are either free and ask for a suggested donation or have an admission fee that is pretty modest for several hours of live music. Most venues and local bands operate purely off of donations, merchandise sales, and their own personal funds, which makes the quality of the work they do especially impressive.

They also create spaces and sounds that truly anybody can find their place in and enjoy. There are smaller house shows at Monikahouse ( on Instagram) and the Dam (@thedamict) or at venues with more space to dance and rock out, such as the Lumberyard (@lumberyardks) and the Annex ( 

There are bands like Profanity, which takes inspiration and does covers of songs by the Backseat Lovers; Gaslight, which combines the sounds of Deftones and Nirvana into its own original music; Yung Alk, which leans further into rap influences; and so many other bands with their own unique sounds. Those bands are just local ones, and there are often touring bands from across the country that play alongside them.

The only bad thing about a lot of these bands is many of them haven’t released their music on streaming services yet, which is unfortunate, but it makes live shows more exciting when you know that it’s your only chance to hear their music until the next one comes around.

I highly recommend finding where you fit in this community if you think it might be your vibe, and I’d be happy to help welcome you into it. If you’re interested and want to learn more, you can contact me through my email

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Elysse Sparling