Manchester’s DIY Punks Unite

Introducing Manchester Punk Festival

Manchester’s DIY Punks Unite
Manchester’s DIY Punks Unite
Manchester’s DIY Punks Unite

By Ben Tipple

Feb 24, 2015 21:10

"Last year, TNS celebrated ten years with a large scale version of their annual all-dayer at Sound Control, with a near capacity crowd. They didn’t want to drop it down to a smaller venue after it being so successful, so thought extensively on how to rebuild it,” the organisers of this year’s Manchester Punk Festival explain. Drawing those from the DIY punk community within the city together, the event looks to celebrate the vibrant music scene in the North.

“Manchester has an eclectic and diverse punk scene, with many good promoters putting on exciting gigs,” they continue to explain. “There had been a discussion a while back about starting a Manchester Punk Festival with all the cities promoters involved, but it had proved too difficult logistically.”

“After Moving North sold out their annual all-day Manchfester event, we noticed how despite the promotors attending each other’s gigs, there wasn’t a huge crossover between the crowds. We made the decision to do something together to try and unite the scenes and to make something new and exciting, reigniting the festival idea, but with a few less cooks. We all wanted to get our good friends at Anarchistic Undertones involved too, after some previous collaborations. As a result of a lot of booze fuelled discussions, MPF was born as a collective between some like-minded DIY promotors.”

The result sees a whole host of British and international acts descent on the Sound Control and The Thirsty Scholar in Manchester on Saturday 18th April, preceded by a couple of warm up shows the night before. Across the days, punters will have the opportunity to experience the likes of Creeper, Hindsights, 2 Sick Monkeys, Bear Trade, Muncie Girls, Muderburgers and headliners The Filaments, plus plenty more bands.

“We made an online spreadsheet and made extensive lists of bands wed like, bands we felt crossed over into different scenes and possible headliners and worked from there,” organisers explain when asked about the selection process. “None of us are huge fans of working with booking agents, but luckily we were able to keep that to a minimum and get headliners and an overall line up we were all incredibly excited by. Obviously we had some bands who were unavailable, but the interest has be absolutely ridiculous and we could easily have filled a festival with five times as many slots,” they go on to explain their DIY ethos.

For all those involved, this is a labour of love. Although each organiser already has their part to play in the local scene, Manchester Punk Festival is planned in addition to their daily roles – all the while retaining the ever-important DIY element.

“Everyone in the collective has different things they are able to do and also different bands they are able to get onboard. We have an ever lasting Facebook thread discussing everything and more. If you actually have to do some real work at work for an hour or two, you tend to return to 50 or 60 notifications,” they laugh. “Everyone knows what is involved and what the risks are and it has been easy to work together. Obviously we have had to make compromises on some things, as we wont and dont always agree, but that’s part of the fun. We all collectively enjoy a good meeting in the pub too. Luckily someone (Bev – TNSrecords) writes down what has been said so we can act on it or laugh at it the following day.”

Manchester’s DIY Punks Unite

With 2015 hosting its first ever appearance, Manchester Punk Festival is the latest DIY event to join an increasingly big market. Sitting alongside the likes of WTFest and Deadpunk, it looks to build upon the opportunities available to punk fans, and to spread these further afield. “We think it’s great that there are more and more similar events,” organisers respond when questioned over the increasing number of festivals across the country. “We try to ensure we don’t clash with anything in the same region and we all like to go to lots of the other events too. It’s amazing that people can set up similar events everywhere and pull in enough people to make them viable. It’s a really positive thing.”

“We believe we have really put something together, which crosses over a lot of the different strands of the punk scene. We genuinely think there is something for everyone. We are also in a fairly unique position in Manchester, where the right gig can pull a few hundred people in, which means we can make it a lot cheaper than other similar festivals. We have aimed to make it as cheap as possible so we really need to pack the place to cover costs. We really think that the ticket price for what we’ve booked is amazing. Obviously it’s all not-for-profit too, which adds to its charm. It’s pretty exciting what you can achieve when like-minded people work together. It’s certainly more adventurous than what any of us would have tried to book individually anyway,” they state enthusiastically.

That enthusiasm is set to spill into the festival, with organisers channelling their individual talents into the joint effort. With some major names from the underground punk scene coming together in one city, organised by individuals with their fingers firmly in the local pie, the atmosphere is destined to be electric. “We all go to each other’s events so we know that the atmosphere is going to be amazing. It will be friendly and fun and we really think people will have a fantastic time,” the organisers concur.

Tickets for Manchester Punk Festival are available now via the official website.