On their way to the Shed Island festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland, beloved post-hardcore band La Luna’s van suddenly broke down. This could have been a tragically costly end to their tour, yet fans and St. John’s community members came through in a big way. Thanks to an online fundraiser with minimum pricing or a “pay what you can” option for tapes, t-shirts, and tote bags (as well as general donations), La Luna have now raised $2,000 for a functioning vehicle.
It's a good thing they did, because until then they were stuck on the island with no way to get off.
Posting a photo of their “new whip” on July 15th, La Luna proudly stated that “after 7 years of mini van touring we finally bought a big ass tour van.” Unfortunately, this seemingly sturdy home on wheels broke down in a parking lot upon their arrival in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland. The band brought it into a mechanic, replacing a rusty distributor cap and coil before getting back on the road at the cost of a few hundred dollars. Sadly, this was just the start of their vehicular troubles.
“During the 10-hour drive across the island to St John's, the van became increasingly sluggish on hills,” explains lead guitarist Nicolas Field in an email. “Thankfully, we arrived in the city and parked the van.”
"Since then we've been in contact with a very helpful person named Phil who basically took it upon himself to work things out with the van -- he took a look at it and realized we'd dropped a valve in the engine and that it was basically a write off. This theory was corroborated by a few other local mechanics, who agreed that our prospects of getting off the island with this van were not good.”
“It was suggested that we buy a used engine and have our current one replaced, with an estimated cost of around $1,500 or more.” This was not feasible for the band.
“We decided to consider our options,” Field continues. “Renting a van was an impossibility at such short notice, and flying home was a no-go due to the amount of gear we're hauling. We decided to go forward with attempting to have the engine replaced. However, no mechanics were willing or able to take on such a big job, given the fact that one needs to basically gut the interior of a van to access the engine."
So instead, the band gave up on their van and tried to find an alternate route. Once again, the friendly mechanic Phil turned out to be their saviour.
"We managed to work out a trade with Phil, who has been overhauling another van that we can use to (hopefully) get back home in exchange for our old vehicle. We will undoubtedly have to buy another van on the mainland.”
The band will attempt to drive off the island with their new (temp) van on Tuesday.
Since 2009, La Luna (formerly based in Calgary and known as Brain Fever) have played hundreds of shows in multiple countries, booking all tours independently. This has built up tremendous goodwill for the band among punk and hardcore communities, and they still plan to perform August 10th in Halifax, August 11th in Quebec City, and August 12th at Toronto’s D-Beatstro.
“Everybody in St John's has been incredibly welcoming, generous and hospitable to us since we've arrived,” Field concludes. “It's seriously inspiring to have experienced such a great show of solidarity from all over the DIY community. Specifically, we would like to thank Glenn, Chris, Derek, Brandon, Meghan, Lucas, Riley, Ingrid, Phil, Jess, the Runions family, Lord Snow -- and all of you who bought merch or sent donations to help out. We love you.”
Merch sales are still available at https://lalunaband.bandcamp.com/merch and donations of any amount can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.