Manchester Punk Festival 2023 Preview

Manchester Punk Festival 2023 Preview

By Ben Adsett

Apr 5, 2023 11:00

Manchester Punk Festival is a truly special weekend, celebrating the diversity within a scene with a perfect combination of the best punk bands the globe has to offer. In previous years, attendees have lost their voices singing in a packed room watching Chewie, had their faces melted by riffs from the likes of Doom and Svalbard, enjoyed the nostalgia of Snuff, Random Hand and the Belvedere, and watched a seemingly endless list of bands step up to big stages like a proud father. Whatever happens, we can guarantee you’ll get your steps in as you walk around Manchester’s best venues watching the best bands. Can you think of a better way to spend a bank holiday weekend?



Returning to their original two-piece line up for one last show, these stalwarts of the mid-noughties DIY scene will have you singing along and possibly crying along by the end. With a clever style which allows lyrics and vocals to take the focus on stage and can make the biggest room feel like a house show. This is a band who’s song writing and musicianship are absolutely vital to their longevity and let’s hope it’s more like a celebration than a funeral!

FFO Best Coast/Craig Finn/Tony Sly

The Slow Death

These Minneapolis natives are another long standing fixture within the DIY scene. Their honest punk songs are relatable with undertones of sadness, regret and a real world view. Their recent releases show no signs of the band slowing down or becoming any less creative. This set could be one of the unforgettable moments of MPF23.

FFO The Weakerthans/The Ergs/The Arteries

Petrol Girls

There are few bands who have pushed harder against the hardcore scene, it could easily be argued that they have evolved away from the genre completely with their creative song writing now pushing and pulling in all sorts of directions. What remains is the tenacious ferocity of hardcore both in the political lyrics and vocal delivery.

FFO Witch Fever/Soul Glo/Cultdreams

Going Off

After their ferocious debut album came out earlier this year, Going Off are currently one of the hottest properties in UK hardcore. They will absolutely tear through their set leaving the room ringing and dripping with sweat as they leave everything on the stage. This band have set a trajectory for the top of their scene with no nonsense hardcore and it’s about time you got on board.

FFO Grove Street/Mad Ball/Clobber

Off With Their Heads

Playing their seminal album ‘Home’ in full to celebrate a decade since its release offers a bit of nostalgia but this is a band who have continued to release music and develop their sound since. OWTH are at the forefront of pushing the way American punk sounds and are almost certainly an influence to a lot of this line up. They are a band that are deserving of a headline slot, and this is going to be a very special set.

FFO The Gaslight Anthem/Dillinger Four/The Menzingers

Knife Club

This double fronted supergroup are absolutely perfect for a late night set, already famed for their high energy performances and recordings. The songs are fast and the lyrics effortlessly switch between politically astute and genuinely funny as the band create easily accessible and thoughtful moments throughout. There is something exciting about coming out of the headline set to go and see a few bonus acts and Knife Club are more than capable of taking things up a notch or two.

FFO Pizzatramp/dananananaykroyd/Sonic Boom Six


Jodie Faster

If you need an energy boost, this is the place to be on Saturday afternoon. This four-piece play political hardcore at 100 mph with a humorous edge and in a live setting, this energy with will come from the stage and into your fuzzy day two at a festival brain giving you a much needed boost and wake up call.

FFO Naplam Death/Her Parents/Pizzatramp

Other Half

Following the release of their second album at the back end of last year, and having just concluded a tour with Short Fiction, you can be damn sure Other Half are sharp and raring to go. Brash instrumentals and intricate lyrics will ensure they leave a lasting impression, from the tongue in their cheek to their boot prints stomped on the floor.

FFO Short Fiction/Gallows/Jamie Lenman


Sometimes you come away from a set with a smile on your face and a light joyous feeling, and after watching PkewPkewPkew you are going to be feeling like this. There is a camaraderie within their music and as the gang vocals start spreading through the crowd, it’s going to feel like you too are having a great time with your friends and travelling the world playing to a new room full of friends every day. Honestly, this band will bring all the sunshine of pop punk but minus all that girls and pizza nonsense.

FFO Pears/Bangers/Captain Everything


Just seeing Bangers on the lineup is exciting, it has been a long time since they last played shows and if there was a band that fit in more perfectly with this festival bill I couldn’t name them. After starting in Cornwall and spreading out across the country this is a band that perfectly created slightly jaded punk rock which sounds as vital now as it did then.

FFO No Use For A Name/Martha/The Flatliners

Death By Stereo

These three days are absolutely packed with legends and DBS are one of many bucket list bands on the line-up. After over two decades of making their creative style of hardcore punk, there are hours of potential songs that could be on the set list. Prepare yourself for a fast, brash and seemingly too short set which will be over within the blink of an eye.

FFO Sick of it All/H2O/A Wilhelm Scream


If your Saturday night ends with Lightyear, it will end in chaos (and nostalgia). Based on previous performances over the last twenty years, you/we are in for a treat – this will be an intense, wild and absolutely hilarious headline set. The audience will mirror the energy from the stage as the room hits fever pitch from first to last note.

FFO Capdown/Less Than Jake/The JB Conspiracy



The first of an afternoon of supergroups with members of Finish Flag, Happy Accidents and Fresh combining to create the sweetest pop punk. Their twinkly musicianship and three layered harmonies create a lovely amalgamation of some of the musical tropes that make their other bands so good. Their debut album is packed full of sunshine and poignant lyrics and this is a start to the day which will make you smile and think at the same time.

FFO The Shins/Peaness/Nervus


Melonball are a fascinating prospect, using a combination of various eras of alternative music and topping them off with show stealing vocals makes for a set that is likely to blow you away. The technical musicianship creates an ever changing back drop, and this is a band that create special moments within each and every song- whether it’s a chorus or a bit of guitar wizardry, you are going to be watching this set in it’s entirety to find out what’s next.

FFO No Doubt/The Human Project/La Sera

Bin Boy

You will struggle to find a more prolific act on this line up. Over the last few years, Bin Boy has written and released stacks of always expansive LP’s and EP’s, and has used these to create a sound that jumps between genre’s and styles effortlessly. With such a large back catalogue to pick from it’s hard for even the most dedicated fan to know what’s coming up next, what you should know is it’s going to be great.

FFO Slaughter Beach Dog/Walter Schreifels/Don’t Worry

Me Rex

Another super group with a Fresh and Happy Accidents connection, Me Rex sees a solo project expanded in to masterful indie rock. Soaring choruses feed in to technical musicianship and create soundscapes which will have a room in awe from first to last note. As a live entity, the biggest challenge with Me Rex is where to look as instruments are added throughout every song to create a huge infectious sound.

FFO Kississippi/Proper/Tellison

Shit Present

Last year, Shit Present’s set was an absolute triumph so the expectation is very high for this set. Armed with a new album that features some of their most accomplished song writing, these expectations being met and surpassed is almost a formality. With a combination of sun-soaked musicianship and raw, emotional lyrics, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in a Shit Present setlist. Once you add singalong choruses and an incredibly tight live style, it’s clear this is going to be another memorable MPF moment.

FFO Muncie Girls/Lemuria/Bangers

Wonk Unit

True heroes of the UK punk scene, Wonk Unit have flown under the mainstream radar forever but have an incredibly loyal fanbase dedicated to a band who’s approach is the definition of the DIY ethos. The songs will fire from the stage like a machine gun as the band switch between moments in their extensive back catalogue. This will be a euphoric end to a wonderful weekend and picking a band who’s influence flows over almost every band on the line-up is a wonderful way to join the dots and close the festival out.

FFO Snuff/Aerial Salad/The Dammed


With a triumphant second album under their belt, Ithaca are an early shout for the best set of this long weekend. The ability to combine styles across the spectrum of heavy music with vocals and stage presence that will draw the attention of an entire room instantly is not to be underestimated. This is a band who smash your face with riffs that build on top of each other to create walls of noise you can almost feel moving past your head and melt your heart with lyrics almost too sensitive for such a heavy musical backing.

FFO Svalbard/Rolo Tomassi/Employed to Serve