PREVIEW: Manchester Punk Festival 2017

author MAK date 13/04/17

“Manchester Punk Festival is what happens when you sit three different promoters in a pub to discuss starting something where the bands we know and love can play to new people who would appreciate them”

This is a pretty simple explanation of what this festival is all about. Manchester Punk Festival is a volunteer run, multi-day, metropolitan style DIY punk rock festival held in Manchester City Centre, brought to you by TNSrecords, Anarchistic Undertones and Moving North. Having officially formed in 2015, the multi-venue festival has since become an important date in punk fan’s calendars. Plenty of emerging artists and fans of the DIY punk scene continuously rave about this ever growing event.

Where previous lineups have included Citizen Fish, The Flatliners, Brawlers, Darko, Wonk Unit, Gnarwolves, The Restarts and Muncie Girls, each year the size of the festival grows in pulling power for bigger and better bands as well as the capacity. Shifting from two dates in 2015, to three dates in 2016. Now in 2017, the festival has grown from using five venues to seven, showcasing 80 bands across eight stages in three days.

Venues include: Retro Bar, Zombie Shack, Zoo, Sound Control (upstairs and downstairs stages), Gorilla, Font, Black Dog Ballroom (Underdog Acoustic Stage)

The acoustic stage moving from the Thirsty Scholar to Underdog doubles the acoustic stage capacity. There will also be DJs in Font and free access to Satan’s Hollow before midnight with your festival wristband giving you more options after the bands have finished elsewhere.

Removing the acoustic stage from the Thirsty Scholar also means that we have made more space for you to relax and sit down between bands. The Scholar is going to hold the first Manchester Pint Festival (see what we did there?) with a wide selection of beers and a ‘meet the brewer’ event by our friends at Signature Brew and Alphabet Brewing Company. Keep an eye on the MPF website for more info soon.

Full Lineup

You can find the Clashfinder link with all set times and updates here

This article takes a quick look at the MUST TRY/SEE's at the festival, highlighting everything you need to know about MPF, including layout and festival extras.

MUST SEE: Bands

While there are tonnes of great artists among the 80 bands booked to play at this year's Manchester Punk, these are the ones you should not miss out on.

Thursday

  • Bolshy - (19:00 – 19:30 at Retro Bar) - A Ska Punk band from Liverpool that throws in influences from hardcore and folk into the mix as well as unloading their political views to the masses, we recently reviewed their latest album Reap the Storm here.
  • The Murder Burgers - (23:30 – 00:00 at Zombie Shack) - The Murderburgers are a high-energy melodic three-piece punk rock’n’roll band from Scotland who have grown from gobby Ramones-esque young punks into arguably Scotland’s finest ever punk rock export.

Friday

  • Throwing Stuff - (19:40 – 20:10 at Sound Control upstairs) - Throwing Stuff are a four-piece hardcore punk band that takes influence from the likes of Minor Threat and Paint it Black. They play a fast, thrashy, no-nonsense punk that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but won’t shy away from the serious issues.
  • Maid of Ace - (19:55 – 20:25 at Sound Control downstairs) - An all sister punk band from Hastings that has been making waves in the UK and across Europe. This includes being featured at iconic punk festival Rebellion and performing on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury.
  • Faintest Idea - (21:20 at Sound Control downstairs) - Having given their most recent album, “Increasing the Minimum Rage”, 9 out of 10 in 2016, it would have been silly not to include the political ska punks. Expect plenty of skank worthy anthems and shout outs.
  • Strike Anywhere - (21:30 – 22:30 at Sound Control upstairs) - Aggressive political punk with gritty vocals and a high-octane atmosphere. Strike Anywhere haven’t been to the UK since 2010, so they are one of the most appealing selling points of this year’s MPF.
  • Matilda’s Scoundrels - (23:15 – 23:45 at Zoo) - Folk Punk from Hastings that has been thriving in the DIY punk scene over the last few years. With topics that range from getting pissed, to hometown myths and justice systems, you get a nice mixture of fun and serious atmospheres to dance and rock out to.

Saturday

  • Pizzatramp - (15:40-16:10 at Gorilla) - Quite simply, fast and aggressive punk from Wales with rather short songs that will create all kinds of chaos in a room. Check out our review of "Blowing Chunks" here.
  • Revenge of the Psychotronic Man - (17:10 – 17:40 at Sound Control upstairs) - A theme is starting to build for the Saturday with a raw hardcore flavour. Manchester punk band ROTPM keep things straight to the point. More fast, aggressive and loud punk to cause some carnage. Check out our review of "Colossal Velocity" here.
  • Brutal Youth - (18:45 – 19:15 at Zombie Shack) - Canadian hardcore punk that throws in elements of melodic skate punk into the mix. Relentlessly energetic with plenty of singalong anthems.
  • Nosebleed - (19:35 – 20:10 at Zombie Shack) - A Leeds based punk band that blends with old school rock & roll grooves. Dressed in suits, this trio look dapper, but don’t let that fool you, they are full of fire and ready to destroy venues.
  • After The Fall - (19:45 – 20:30 at Sound Control upstairs) - Albany, New York's After The Fall is a band that refreshing punk rock and pop punk vibes resembling the mid 2000’s sound that dominated the Warped Tour and Punk-o-rama compilations at the time.
  • Inner Terrestrials - (20:15 – 21:00 at Sound Control downstairs) - As DIY as it gets, a much beloved punk band that pulls in frantic crowds, but purely sticks to the underground punk scenes. Combining two tone and reggae influences with old-school punk vibes, Inner Terrestrials constantly aim to stick it to “the man” in their lyrics.
  • The Filaments - (21:20 – 22:20 at Sound Control downstairs) - Aggressive, yet highly enjoyable ska punk with pit starting hooks, skank enticing brass and massive sing along anthems. One of the most popular ska punk bands in the DIY punk scenes, they produce some of the wildest live performances.
  • Belvedere - (21:50 – 22:45 at Sound Control upstairs) - Canadian skatepunk that made a long-awaited return in 2016 after releasing their album “Revenge of the Fifth”, their first album since 2005. MPF followed by a London date with Strike Anywhere will be the only UK dates on this European run.
  • Riggots - (23:15 – 23:45 at Zoo) - There's a lot of two pieces out there, a lot of bands that don't use a bassist but there isn't anyone like Riggots. They are noisy, fast, loud, in your face and almost intrusive as they pull in influences from Refused, Mars Volta and Fugazi.

Extra MPF Information

Cinema at Font on Saturday

On the Saturday, MPF is hosting a cinema screening of various punk documentaries at Font. Including “Punk In Africa”, “American Hardcore”, “A Fat Wreck”, “Zine Talk”, “Women In Punk” and “Grrrl Love & Revolution”. These will be shown while other stages have bands performing, but it might be a nice break from the music.

Accessibility

Accessibility for Manchester Punk Festival and the various venues hosting it is pretty straight forward and all fairly close together. Four of the venues (Sound Control, Zombie Shack, Font and Black Dog Ballroom) are located in New Wakefield Street. Gorilla is just round the corner in Whitworth Street opposite The Ritz. Zoo is located just five minutes south of this area on Grosvenor Street. Then Retro bar is located 5 minutes east of the New Wakefield Street venues on Sackville Street. A map below should help with bearings.

Being right in the city centre, and a maximum 10 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly train station, there will be plenty of food outlets nearby each venue, and lots of close by hotels.

The following statement is from the organisers towards those who may struggle with stairs:

"Manchester Punk Festival is organised across several city centre venues. We are aware that some of these venues do not provide full accessibility, especially for those people who may struggle to use stairs. Unfortunately, the viable venues available to us in the centre of Manchester limit our options. For MPF2017 we will be using Gorilla, which is fully accessible, and we are increasing our use of Zoo. Although we continue to reassess and consider how to make the festival more accessible to all people in the future, we recognise that having access to just some of the performances in 2017 is restrictive and disappointing.

Because of this, we would like to offer a discounted ticket to people who will experience some restrictions due to accessibility issues. To enquire about a discounted ticket, or if you have any questions about access at any of the venues, please message the facebook page or email info@tnsrecords.co.uk"

Food and Drink

On the food front, Manchester Punk Festival are also increasing the options available to you. Manchester’s Tea Time Collective will be set-up under the arch opposite Sound Control all day Saturday. They will have a wide variety of vegan food on sale. Inside the Scholar you can sit down for some veggie or vegan food from resident chief Martin the Mod. Down the road there is also food available from Font and Blackdog. Both are giving 25% off to everyone with a festival wristband. All of the venues will also have drinks promotions for MPF wristband holders too.

Club night for Aftershow

Last year the festival just had the one aftershow on the Saturday. Zoo was packed with people watching the last four bands of the festival. Many people asked for more options after the headliners had finished. So this year MPF has increased the Friday night aftershow capacity by using Zoo. With the cover bands still on upstairs at Zombie Shack. On the Saturday night we have even more options. The Zombie stage has extended so that the bands play right through until 2am. We also return to Zoo for the final four bands of the festival. If you just want to dance and drink, all wristband holders have free entry to Satan’s Hollow nightclub before midnight.

An Interview with MPF organiser Andy Davies in 2016 talking briefly about the DIY aspect of the festival and the kind of wild scenes we can expect

That’s all the important information you need for Manchester Punk Festival this year, and our suggestions of who you should definitely see. We can’t wait for this weekend, stay tuned for our extensive in-depth review article following the festival . MAK

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