Article by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Mark Richards.
The sun’s out, the beer’s flowing and I can hear the echoes of a band sound-checking somewhere over the thrum of conversation. All my friends are here, I’m afternoon-sozzled and teetering perilously close to evening-wasted, ready to do something dumb that I won’t hear the end of for weeks to come. It must be festival season.
I live for this. Warm weekends wasted in sweltering venues; stumbling out into the cool late-night air in a sweat-soaked t-shirt; watching band after band and loving every second of it. Summer of 2018 is loaded with punk festivals, with increasingly more DIY events popping up around the country. It’s beautiful to see so many more people getting involved and organising their own weekenders: booking a gig is stressful enough, let alone a whole festival. The scene is thriving.
These are our lovingly curated top picks of UK DIY festivals taking place this summer.
Wotsit Called Festival
- Where: The Palace, Hastings
- When: 28th-30th September
- Cost: £20 weekend
- Facebook Event Page
- Bonus Points: Film night on Thursday + hangover acoustic on Sunday + Wotsit Called themed cocktails!
One of our top picks of last year’s festivals, we are pleased to see it growing even bigger this year. Music will be starting earlier on Friday and they have added a film-night on Thursday and an acoustic hangover session on Sunday afternoon. Music on the Friday and Saturday remain the main attraction of the festival, with this year’s main draws taking the form of a handful of TNS bands, including Wonk Unit, Faintest Idea, Matilda’s Scoundrels, Casual Nausea and Revenge of The Psychotronic Man.
The latest announcement from Wotsit Called includes the full music line-up for Friday and Saturday, featuring some really big names. Ska-punk stalwarts Inner Terrestrials will never fail to get a room skanking, and feisty Scottish punks The Murderburgers are reliably riotous. Recently announced are Skinny Milk, Punka, Haest, who will be joining The Barracks, Butane Regulators, Plot 32, The Mentstrual Cramps and Batwolf.
The other advantage of this festival is that it’s right on the beach and, although it doesn’t take place until late September, we’re British so we can handle a bit of cold, rainy sea action. If you’re not too hungover there’s also time to enjoy the arcades and quaint shops of Hastings, plus delightful coffee and vegan grilled cheese at Sham City Roasters. This southern gem of a festival is organised by a collective including members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, The Barracks and The Dead Anyways. It’s small, DIY to the core and definitely worth a trip to the South Coast.
Cromstock: Metal, Punk & Thrash All-Dayer
- Where: The Green Door Store, Brighton
- When: 14th July 2018
- Cost: £12 + booking fee
- Facebook Event Page
- Bonus Points: There’s a Spotify playlist to get you up to speed with all the crossover thrash!
Cromstock is a brand new all-dayer taking place in Brighton that represents a fresh direction for underground thrash, metal and punk in the UK. This event will appeal to punks who came to the scene from a love of metal, tech or hard-rock… or anyone who used to go to Download before their bookings went downhill.
If you’ve seen prog-thrash-metal melee Almeida before, you’ll know that a) they’re exceptionaly talented and enthralling live and b) they stick out like a sore thumb on most punk line-ups because they can’t be pigeonholed into one genre. Well, they’ve taken matters into their own hands and curated this collision of punk and metal all in one bill. Continue reading “Summer 2018’s Best UK DIY Punk Festivals”