Written by Sarah Williams.
Thank you to everyone who attended Do It Together Fest. In collaboration with Paul Smith (Be Sharp Promotions) and Colin Clark (Colin’s Punk Rock World), we’d hoped to put together an event that celebrated the punk rock community, and what we achieved exceeded my expectations completed.
Firstly I’d like to announce that we raised a grand total of £880.72 for Mind! Thank you to everyone who donated, played our punk rock tombola or scoffed OGGS kindly donated cakes. Thanks also to every single person who attended, all the bands who played and everyone who lent a hand: you could truly feel the power of our community over the weekend, and every single person was a part of that.
One of the great pleasures of having your own website (where you can do whatever the fuck you want), is that you can capture memories of events to look back on later, no matter how self-indulgent that may be. With that intention, here are a few snapshot highlights from Do It Together Fest:
- At the end of Forever Unclean‘s set, all three band members left the stage by crowd-surfing in the most humble way. Drummer Leo started in by diving sweatily into the crowd, then Troels and Lasse reluctantly followed after cajoling from the crowd. What a way to leave the stage
- The moment that Giles Bidder (Great Cynics, et al) threw a banana and it hit Chas Palmer-Williams square in the forehead, whilst he was wielding a microphone in Lightyear
- Genuine warnings from Chas to Bars to avoid slipping on a banana skin on stage, and then to the crowd to warn them that their guitar-tech and t-shirt warrior Calvin is fiercely allergic to bananas
- Shouting “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it,” at full volume with Scottish Instagram star Brian Kinnear, during The Burnzingers’ after-party set, when I suddenly realised the gig was over and there was nothing to go wrong now
- The determination and patience of sound engineer Rob during Lightyear‘s characteristically shambolic performance
- Lasse from Forever Unclean telling my Mum about the first time he ever met me, in Ipswich five year ago (an event that I’d completely forgotten)
- Catching Brian and Dion from Fabled Mind in the basement of Mughead Coffee early on Saturday morning, looking shattered and deflated after their early morning flight from Copenhagen… then playing a blisteringly good set to a big early crowd
- The two conversations I had with Matt Netherington from PMX, who’d flown in from Scotland on the day, particularly to see Forever Unclean. The first, at 1pm, where he told me that he’d drunk 5 pints already but not to worry, and the second shortly before Forever Unclean’s set, where he told me that he was too drunk and needed to go home straight away. Good news: he made it through Forever Unclean’s set, because he is a trooper.
- Goodbye Blue Monday interrupting their set to play three back-to-back Garry Biscuits covers, despite the very real possibility that I was the only one in the crowd who would get the joke
- Forever Unclean pulling out a seemingly endless supply of pastry snacks throughout the weekend, as if that was completely normal
- “I’m 41 with two kids and I don’t care that I can’t play this instrument any more,” Bars, from Lightyear, expressing exactly how we all feel.
- Toodles & The Hectic Pity looking humbled by the crowd that enjoyed their early-doors set, and finally getting to sing my heart out to Menthol Cigarettes and Call In Sick.
- Midwich Cuckoos rotating microphones and stage position throughout their whole set, like some rock ‘n’ roll game of musical chairs was underway
- Dancing around whilst stood precariously on a barstool during The JB Conspiracy‘s set. Health and safety be damned
- The sheer volume of people who approached me over the weekend to say how much they’d enjoyed discovering Midwich Cuckoos opening on Friday
- Being warned on Friday night that there was a bit of drama and gossip floating about and knowing that I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF IT. Marvellous.
- The Aversions covering The Offspring and instantly transporting me and Charlotte Corry (Just Say Nay) back to an ill-advised night in 2013 when we saw The Offspin at Scorpios in High Wycombe, got too drunk and embarrassed ourselves
- My Mum appearing in the smoking area at 7.30pm on Saturday, asking if I’d eaten yet, brandishing an orange and a protein bar. Just as I got orange all across my maw, she even produced a napkin, much to my friends’ amusement.
- Standing back to enjoy Triple Sundae‘s set, noticing a huge change in Hassan’s vocals and thinking what a pleasure it is to watch bands grow over time. I’m not the only one who thought it was the best set I’d seen them play
- Burnt Tapes playing the promoter’s mutual favourite old song Go Drunk. “Killing time while time kills us…”
- Enjoying Luke from Call Me Malcolm hanging from the pole in the middle of New Cross Inn’s stage (not in a stripper way!), like he was completely at home there, observing the bouncing crowd
- “Waves will come and wash away, wash away everything, everything.”
- Finishing the weekend with camomile tea, a shower and some crisps, curled up on the sofa of my old friends Kari and Alex, knowing I was going to get a great night’s sleep
I am incredibly thankful to everyone who attended, all the bands who played and all the people who wished us well. The event wasn’t about us (the promoters) or about the acts who played, it was about all the people in the room and the positive environment we created together.
I’d like to give particularly big thanks to my two promoters pals, Paul and Colin, as I couldn’t ask for two better people to work with. We’ve been agreeable, easy-going and coordinated, even when we’ve been busy with other work. What a great team.
Should we Do It Together again next year?