Back in August of 2019, a whole bunch of our pals travelled to Slovenia for a festival named Punk Rock Holiday. Emma and I were super jealous about this. Not just because of the stacked line-up but because of the beauty of the place. If you’re unaware, Punk Rock Holiday is a five day outdoor festival that takes place in the woods beside the river Soča in Tolmin. The clear river alongside the beautiful mountain views looked incredible. Then news came through that the Slovenian government had plans to build a road through the festival site, potentially putting the festival at risk. This settled it for Emma and I, we had to experience this festival at least once!
Fast forward slightly to January 2020 and Emma and I had purchased our tickets from our friends in Eat Defeat. Punk Rock Holiday do this thing that I don’t really agree with where they get the bands who are playing the smaller Beach Stage to sell tickets. I’m not really sure what the point of this is but I believe the more they sell the more money the bands make which does seem off to me. Either way, we had tickets – as did lots of our friends – and we were excited to experience Punk Rock Holiday.
Unfortunately there was a deadly virus on the way and we all know what happened during the rest of 2020 and the majority of 2021. Punk Rock Holiday 2020, alongside everything else in the world, was cancelled.
Jump forward to 2022 and the world finally seems to be getting back to what we knew before. Punk Rock Holiday could happen and the time came for us to get organised for an event we brought tickets for over two and a half years earlier. When I say get organised, I sensibly left all organisation to Emma and our good pal Paul who, if promoting gigs and booking tours ever falls through for him, could get a job as a travel agent. Man knows what he’s doing. Transport and accommodation was booked and the time finally came around for Punk Rock Holiday.
We had a flight booked from Gatwick to Venice before we got on a coach to travel the rest of the way to Tolmin for the festival. Emma and I left Bedford at 6am in the morning in order to get to Gatwick in time for our lunchtime flight. At Gatwick, we met the majority of our group whom we were travelling with. Our flight had a hour delay which actually worked out quite well for us as it meant less time waiting outside in the sun in Venice for our coach. Flying into Venice we were treated to some beautiful views of the city. The coach ride as well, which was full of good spirited (but slightly sleepy) punk rockers, was full of breathtaking views as we traversed the Slovenian hills and got our first looks at the river. When we eventually arrived at our destination it was only a short walk to our accommodation. Emma, Paul and I dropped off our bags, freshened up and headed straight out to the festival site.
Paul also doubled up as somewhat of a tour guide for us, having been to PRH before, as he directed us to collect our festival wristbands and explained how the money card worked. Basically PRH gives you a card that you have to top-up whenever you want to buy food or drink. I guess the idea of it is to keep queues moving quickly at the various vendors on the site. With wristbands and money cards sorted we made our way through the campsite to get meet up with friends and grab some dinner. Walking through the various different camp sites was the first time it really hit me just how many people were at this festival. It was like a small town had been erected in the woods full of punk rockers from all over the world. We traversed through the site and soon found our friends Mark, Claire and Mikayla sitting on a bench in the main court area known as Slovenian Village. They had arrived earlier in the day and had already made friends with someone who can only be described as an inspiration to all of us, Johnny. In turned out that Johnny knew Paul already and friendships were formed. Being quite hungry, Emma and I hit up the vegan stall named Veni Vegi Vici. One tofu burger purchased, I sat back down and proceeded to get told a story about two girls they had met earlier. One of the two girls had only decided to go to the festival because her friend wanted to and had no interested in punk rock herself. We worried that she was going to have an awful week at Punk Rock Holiday. As the evening progressed more friends appeared, laughs were had and it really felt like we were on a proper family holiday. It was lovely. We didn’t stay out too late as we were tired from travelling and had an adventure to go on tomorrow before the business of punk rock began.
Now before we continue, I must warn the dear reader that this review is going to be a little different to our other gig and festival reviews. Punk Rock Holiday was five days of punk rock and I saw fifty three different acts. There’s no way on earth I can sit here and review them all in as much detail as I normally would. Also, Punk Rock Holiday is about far more than just the bands. The setting is beautiful, you meet all manner of punk rockers from around the world, the atmosphere (the vibe if you’re a younger person) is completely different to any other festival. I’m going to talk about that as well as my musical highlights from the week.
I’m going to start off with the setting as, for me, it was the real highlight of the entire week. The Monday of Punk Rock Holiday is classed as the warm-up day. This meant there were only a few bands playing on the main stage in the evening and we had the day to do whatever we chose to. A group of us decided to walk along to Tolmin Gorge. This was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen. Everything was just full of beauty. You could walk along to the stream and have a dip or climb up higher (there were steps and walkways, no actual climbing was involved) and get some incredible views. It was an amazing way to start the week. This was the part of the week that made the festival really feel like a holiday. It was also really nice to do this in our little group. Most of the people in the group I only really spend time with watching bands and it was nice to spend some time with them in a different setting. It was a nice bonding experience and it’s certainly something that I recommend anyone going to the festival in future experiences too. I also learnt that Charlie from Codename Colin, one of our travel companions, is essentially a dog and will jump into water at any time given the chance.
After our walk to the gorge, we popped back to our apartment to freshen up. From there, Emma and I made our way to the festival site and found the camping beach. As we walked through the site we bumped into friends from all over who were camping and had some quick catch ups. The thing I love about festivals is the opportunity to catch up with friends I don’t get to see that often. It was like a reunion party at a festival many miles from home. We soon found our way to the beach, dodging and admiring many, many inflatables along the way. Apparently a big thing people enjoy doing at Punk Rock Holiday is to float along the river on inflatables. I feel like I saw more in that week than I have in a lifetime of going to beaches in the UK. They came in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. There were massive ones that could fit more people than most cars, that took a whole team of people to carry down to the beach. It seemed like a lot of effort but I’m sure they all had lots of fun. Not being one for water, this camping beach didn’t do much for me but it was nice to see folk enjoying themselves and it was nice to have a quiet chat with folk before the bands started.
After the beach, we explored the festival site some more. The map on the official PRH app wasn’t especially clear and is perhaps something that could be worked on for next year. We took the opportunity to walk around the site to get our bearings and work out where the best places to get food, drink, free water and toilets was, as well as finding where the main, beach and acoustic stages and the merchandise booth were situated. The way the main site was set out was actually pretty simple as you could really only go two ways across the site, back and forth. Something I found really good about this was that it made it easier to bump into folk as you traversed the site. And when I say bump into folk I mean run into folk you know. When I say run into folk I mean find and meet up and chat with folk. I hope I made that clear.
It was really cool to wander around the site. Every now and then some ridiculously beautiful view would catch your eye and you’d remember that you were spending the week in punk rock paradise. The amount of times I’d be walking somewhere and just stop because a view caught my eye was just silly. Even when bands were playing I’d look around and it would occur to me once again where I was. It really was a phenomenal place to have a festival. One day I’d also like to go back when there isn’t a festival on and experience the woods without another 5000 people being there.
I have to admit that the first time I saw the main stage of Punk Rock Holiday I was a little disappointed. I expected everything to feel bigger than it was. This was probably based on the fact that I had only seen the stage on YouTube videos before, with packed out crowds crammed down the front, trying to get as close as possible to their favourite bands. For my first actual experience looking at the stage it was a little underwhelming. There were only about 100 people hanging around, not actually hanging, and it didn’t live up to the image I had in my head. However when the headline bands took to the stage, the area filled up, the sun went down and the lights came on, the stage lived up to all the expectations that I had built up in my head. The really cool thing about the main stage is the platform just in front of the stage that allows people to climb up and stage dive without disturbing the band. Most of the time this creates an amazing image but every now and then you’d get someone who overstayed their welcome on the platform or would insist on getting onto the stage with the band. Most folk were good natured but at times it got a bit silly. For example, the guy who kept getting on stage and putting stickers on members of No Trigger. The joke wore thin quickly. The thing that probably impressed me the most from the main stage was the sound. So many times I’ve been to an outdoor festival and been seriously disappointed by the sound. This was not the case at Punk Rock Holiday, the sound was crystal clear for every band. In some cases, it was clearer than in some venues I’ve seen bands. I don’t know how they managed it but massive kudos to the sound engineers that made everything sound so good at the stage.
Something really unique to Punk Rock Holiday is its Beach Stage. There’s a little trail that’s lit up by loads of fairy lights that leads down to the beach where there’s another smaller stage. This is really cool as you can hang out by the beach, have a swim in the river and, if a band comes on that you like the sound of, you can just walk over to the stage and check them out. Unsurprisingly, this stage was my favourite of the two. Like most people I know in DIY punk, I prefer watching bands in a smaller setting. I also prefer watching newer bands do their thing rather than watching bands who’ve been going for twenty plus years play the same songs again and again. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy watching the bands on the bigger stage but I get much more excited when I can go see a band for the first time and be blown away by them. This being an international festival, I also got see newer bands from all over the world that I don’t get to see at home and I loved this. These are the bands that I travel overseas to see. I can see most of the bands on the main stage in the UK. The beach stage had that small stage atmosphere and I loved that. A couple of negatives on the Beach Stage were the lack of food (especially vegan) options at the beach. I wonder if the lack of food options was to try and keep the rubbish to a minimum, though I have to say I didn’t witness there being much rubbish around the festival, especially not compared to a festival like Slam Dunk which I guess is the UK equivalent to Punk Rock Holiday. Also, because of how hot and dry it had been (until the final day of the festival) the pit became quite dusty. Whenever a circle pit started the amount of dust that got kicked up wasn’t pleasant, I’m quite convinced that I’ve lost a couple of days use of my lungs due to this dust. Obviously, this isn’t really the festival’s fault but it’s something I feel like people should know about if they’ve not been before.
I guess the logical thing now is to move on to the atmosphere and the people of Punk Rock Holiday. We were fortunate enough to be in a group of friends of about twenty or so people at the festival. I think this really added to my whole experience. Being with a group of friends, everyone having the time of their lives, just meant there was a really positive feeling amongst us all. It was mostly (I will get on to why it was ‘mostly’ in a bit) all smiles all around. It seemed like this feeling was a common theme throughout for everyone at the festival. For the most part (there’s always some people who are dicks) everyone was absolutely lovely. The punks were really friendly, helpful, happy for a dance and a sing, or joining in with a tiny circle pit, helping with the constant stream of crowd surfers. There are a lot of crowd surfers at PRH, even if you’re stood towards the back of the crowd it’s something to be aware of. Sometimes it can be a bit annoying when it’s as constant as it is, but it’s nice to help people enjoy themselves. Not the people who try and crowd surf from the back of the crowd to the front though – those people are dickheads. It was really cool to see the amount of people helping the kids crowd surf. Each and every time a kid got carried across the crowd they looked so happy. I like to think of when they went back to school after their holiday and explained to their teacher what they did with their holiday. The kids are obviously the future so it’s great to see parents exposing their children to this scene early, so it won’t die out. I got to meet a couple of PRH legends (who aren’t on the cup). I loved seeing how they embraced the PRH spirit, had such love and positivity and how they were just so happy doing their own thing. Love to Ian the squirt-gun wielding, cartwheeling, Sponge Bob fan and Anti the incredible spinning man.
Like I said, there were some bad eggs in the crowd. Sadly there were pickpockets in the crowd. We met a lovely guy named Joel from the Australian ska punk band Operation Ibis
who was telling us how one of his travelling companions had had their phone stolen. Also a member of our group had their phone stolen as well, even though it was tied around their wrist. It sucks that this was going on and, because of this, there had to be a police presence at the festival. I hope that those scumbags get caught and banned from the festival in future.
Now on to the bands, the thing you probably came to read and the thing I purposely left until the end for viewer retention. Unless you scrolled to this point, in which case, fair play.
I managed to see fifty three different acts at Punk Rock Holiday across the Main and Beach stages as well as the American Socks acoustic stage. I have to say that I enjoyed a good 97% of what I saw. From watching the established acts, personal favourites and bands I’ve never seen before, there was a good mixture of stuff.
The first group of bands we saw were on the Main Stage for the warm-up show. The whole thing was opened up by Dutch pop punks The Cool Trick
, followed by Bike Age
. The Cool Trick and Chump have both written songs about Punk Rock Holiday and it was cool to see them get to play on such a big stage. From there we went more hardcore with Spider
and Lim Smrad In Žila
, both bands added some positive aggression to the crowd and there were plenty of people having a crowd surf early on. It was then time for the heavyweights of the night. First up were The Real McKenzies
. We missed the beginning of their set getting some pizza. Sadly, this was the most disappointing part of my whole week. Don’t get me wrong the pizza was very nice, but the service was absolutely atrocious and it annoyed me. It wasn’t a one off either, my friend tried to get pizza from the same place later in the week and she got the same terrible service. When we eventually got our pizza, we went to watch The Real McKenzies. They played a fun set with plenty of dancing but some of the attempts at humour fell quite flat in our group. One friend did not appreciate being called an “English cunt” and was threatening to knock out anyone she saw in a kilt the rest of the week. Ignite
were up next. We watched a bit of their set and were really impressed with how their new singer controlled the crowd and the energy shown throughout. We decided to take a moment during their set to take a sit down so we had more energy for the Descendents but we made it back to Ignite to see the first stage invasion of the week. Then it was time for one of my favourite bands of all time, the mighty Descendents
. I bloody love the Descendents and it’s always wonderful to see them. They smash it every time and it was quite something to witness them with the Punk Rock Holiday crowd. It was special and I was happy to be there for it. I also took great amusement in seeing my pal Paul really enjoying the Descendents despite him famously claiming not to be a fan for as long as I’ve known him.
The Tuesday was the start of Punk Rock Holiday proper and the opening of the Beach Stage. Originally the Sewer Rats were supposed to open the stage but unfortunately they pulled out last minute. Highlights of the stage on the Tuesday included Pay To Breathe, Skin Of Tears, Dowzer, Deadends and Spaced. Pay To Breathe
were a Norwegian pop punk act with lots of energy and felt like a great way to start the day. I’d previously seen Skin Of Tears
at Manchester Punk Festival a few years back and I was pleased to see them again. I also really enjoyed that lots of my friends came up from the beach to see them because they liked their sound. Dowzer
were another pop punk band who I’d seen play at the New Cross Inn a few years ago. The crowd were very much into them and they got some great crowd surfers. Deadends
were late additions to the festival, replacing Primetime Failure. I didn’t know much about them before the set but became a big fan of their melodic punk rock style. New York Hardcore act Spaced
were perhaps my biggest surprise of the day. They had this powerful energy about them that made them impossible to ignore – I look forward to seeing more from them. Petrol Girls were headlining the Beach Stage but we decided to take the opportunity to see a Jason DeVore
acoustic set instead. I have since heard that Petrol Girls delivered an impressive set, but I was glad I took the opportunity to see Jason as he has one of my favourite voices in punk rock and this was my first chance to hear him play acoustic. It was a beautiful moment.
Boston’s No Trigger
opened the main stage. Previously having only seen them one time before in the tiny Borderline club in central London, this felt like a whole different world seeing them on a massive stage in a Slovenia nature reserve. A big crowd gathered early to see them slay their set – I look forward to seeing them again at Fest at the end of October! Get Dead
were a band that I’ve heard a lot of people talk about but hadn’t really listened to before. I definitely should have checked them out sooner – what a good band they are. I definitely understand why there’s so much hype surrounding them. Authority Zero
were probably my highlight of the day. I think they’re the most underrated band in punk rock. They always release great albums full of bangers and live they are one of the best bands in the world, they always deliver a stunning set. It was no different at PRH. There was a constant stream of stage dives and crowd surfers. During the set, Jason got into the crowd and a huge circle pit opened up around him – it looked awesome. Canadian hardcore heroes Comeback Kid
were also a big highlight. Most of our group aren’t huge fans of hardcore but we were all amazed by what we were witnessing on the stage. Of course, it was carnage down the front of the stage and it felt like we were witnessing a bit of PRH history during the set.
The first two bands of the day on Wednesday were the two bands I was most looking forward to all weekend, Eat Defeat and Captain Asshole. I’d previously seen Eat Defeat
play in London at the New Cross Inn on the Friday before we left for Slovenia, that was my first time seeing them since they became a five-piece and they were brilliant. The same can be said about their set on the Beach Stage. Despite having a really stressful morning, they played a storming set to a great sized crowd for the opening band of the day. It’s always so cool to see a band you’ve seen play countless times play really cool shows. Well done to Eat Defeat. Next was Captain Asshole
who I’d recently seen play in Hamburg at Booze Cruise Festival. Our group at Punk Rock Holiday had put together a big Whatsapp group chat before the festival and I had spent a considerable amount of time really talking Captain Asshole up. I was very pleased that the majority seemed to listen to me and stuck around to check them out, though I do also suspect that a few did it just to see me get overexcited about them. I loved their set and had a great time singing along. Unlike at Booze Cruise, they had sound coming from their lead guitar which was a nice bonus. It was also really cool when they dedicated Where The Fuck Is Kyoto? to me. Other highlights on the Beach Stage were Odpisani
(who were the 900th band I’ve ever seen), NOFNOG
– who played an absolutely ferocious set and I’m desperate to see again – and Direct Hit!
We’d also seen Direct Hit play at New Cross on the Friday before PRH and we were pleased to see them play again. I think this set was even better than the one they played in South London. Loads of energy, the crowd was really enthusiastic and it was just a big party all around.
After getting some dinner we took our place at the main stage for what was a stacked line-up. First for us was The Flatliners
who I was seeing for the third time this year. The main stage crowd grew quickly for them as they played banger after banger. The Flatliners are one of those bands that I forget just how many brilliant songs they have across their back catalogue and it was once again a pleasure to see them. Next were New Jersey punk legends The Bouncing Souls
. This was an incredible set with massive sing-along after massive sing-along, as you would expect from The Bouncing Souls. Singing these songs with a group of your friends is the very best way to experience them. Our friends Paul and Toby joining me in singing Prew Believers at Emma will be a moment that will live long in the memory. When the band played True Believers some folk from the crowd lit some flares – I did question if this was smart given the amount of fires that have started in Slovenia during the summer but luckily there was no harm done. The final two bands of the day were Lagwagon
and Flogging Molly
. We spent the majority of Lagwagon by the VIP bar with friends, catching up and having a little dance – where there was more space to do so. This was the first time that I witnessed the man who I think is the spirit of Punk Rock Holiday – Anti (aka Spinny Man). He just spent the entirety of Lagwagon’s set spinning in circles and having a lovely time. I had a go and I also had a lovely time. We then caught a bit of Flogging Molly before deciding to head home and rest up for the following two days.
Thursday had been affectionately nicknamed ‘ska day’ by our group, since it was the day when most of the ska punk bands were taking to the stage. The beach stage opened strong with French ska punks P.O. Box
. It had been years since I’d seen these guys and I was quickly reminded just how good they are live. Their set was high energy from start to finish and I loved every second of it. I was a bit confused by the guy who brought a guitar on stage with them to smash during their final song though. What was that about? Next up were Steele Justice
from Belgium. Playing a more melodic punk style, Steele Justice were a great find. I got quite excited for their cover of Off With Their Heads Nightlife, I learnt that some Belgian’s call a wall of death ‘doing a braveheart’ and it was nice to see Hanne from For I Am get on stage to sing with the band. Brazilian ska punk heroes Abraskadabra
perhaps played the best set of the entire Beach Stage. A massive crowd came out for them, including quite a lot of folk from Brazil which, as we know, is very far away. There was so much skanking and excitement for the set that a massive dust cloud came up from the ground which, at times, made it quite hard to see what was happening on the stage. The set finished with a massive stage invasion and it had me thinking good luck to anyone wanting to top that set today – it was amazing. Belgium pop punks The Rocket
did a very good job of playing after Abraskadabra. These guys were a lot of fun and kept the crowd in good spirits throughout their set. I can’t help but think they must’ve been very warm in their sweater vests though. Australian skate punks The Decline
took to the stage next and it was another fun time. I hadn’t seen the band since Fest 15 in 2016 and it felt so nice to see them again. Super positive, fun skate punk – The Decline are fantastic. I hope it’s not another six years before I see them again. Finally it was time for MakeWar
. I felt like the crowd were a little slow in getting going for MakeWar but when they did it was something special with some big, emotional sing-alongs. During the set, the band had to stop playing as someone in the crowd had sadly gotten hurt. Respect to the band for looking out for the crowd and being patient, and for the people who looked after the injured person as well. MakeWar were a great way to finish things on the Beach Stage on the Thursday.
After getting yet another seitan kebab, we met up with pals to watch Chuck Robertston of the Mad Caddies
play an acoustic set. This was lovely but I did get distracted by Toby pointing out how much the American Socks logo looked like a penis. Cheers Toby, can’t unsee that now. It was fun to see Chuck play some Caddies songs stripped back but the undoubted highlight was when he attempted to play a cover of Sink Florida Sink by Against Me!.
When Chuck finished we headed to the main stage were Swedish political punks Misconduct
had already begun their set. Paul had been telling us about his love for this band for years and I was keen to check them out. The lazy description would be a European Anti-Flag. Lots of “heys’ and “whoa-ohs’ throughout the set. They also covered Bro Hymn by Pennywise which is a superb way of getting a Punk Rock Holiday crowd on your side. California’s Zebrahead
were next to take to the stage. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Zebrahead and this was the first time with their new singer Adrian Estrella. Zebrahead aren’t a band I listen to much anymore but they are the perfect festival band. They are kings at getting parties started. The crowd was a non-stop stream of crowd surfers throughout the set. At one point they even had one of their stage techs surf on a gigantic inflatable to the very back of the crowd which was an impressive site. Next were the Mad Caddies
, except it wasn’t quite the Mad Caddies we all know and love. For reasons I don’t know and don’t wish to speculate on, for this tour the band was Chuck and a group of stand-ins. It was a shame but it was still a great Mad Caddies performance. I’d go as far to say that if you didn’t know that this was a group of stand-ins then you would have just assumed it was the Mad Caddies. I enjoyed the set but was a little disappointed by the lack of faster Mad Caddies songs in the setlist. Finally on ska day it was time for the hottest band in ska at the moment, The Interrupters
. It was absolutely packed in the crowd now so we decided to hang out at the back by the bars for a dance rather than being squashed in the pit. Honestly, I’d really recommend doing this, especially if you’ve seen the band before as it’s easier to enjoy the band, have a sing and a dance and not be crushed by other folk. Of course The Interrupters smashed their set, it’s what they do.
The final day of Punk Rock Holiday started very differently to every other day of the festival. There was a massive storm which turned the formerly super dusty floor of the Beach Stage to a sludgy pit. The rain got so bad that I began to wonder if they would just cancel the Beach Stage but I’m pleased they didn’t. Finnish hardcore punks Distral
opened the stage for the hardy few that braved the conditions. While most of the folk who had made their way down to the stage took cover by the bar, there were a few who stood out in the mud to have their faces melted. Honestly, I think this might have been the best way to watch Distral as the atmosphere suited their moody, aggressive songs and I loved it. Next were Stagedive Suicide
who had been on a massive marketing campaign for the entire festival letting people know they were there. Wherever you looked you saw one of their stickers. These guys are celebrities at this festival and at many others all over Europe. Whilst they played a style of punk that I’m not the biggest fan of, I did enjoy watching their set and seeing their singer especially clearly having the greatest thirty minutes of their life on the stage. Despite the awful weather, it was a very heart warming moment. As the rain began to ease off Stuttgart’s Hell & Back
took to the stage. Unfortunately for them, the ground in front of the stage had become a swamp so there was a big gap between the band and the crowd. That just seemed to make Hell & Back work even harder to get the crowd on their side and I think everyone appreciated that. I’ve been wanting to see the band for years now, I’ve only ever seen them play a covers set before and I was pleased to finally get to see them play – I’m looking forward to the next time. Fluffy Machine
were perhaps the highlight of the day on the Beach Stage. Coming on to the to the Pingu theme and then quickly jumping to some hyper EDM before launching into their set of high energy rock ’n’ roll bangers, this was a super fun set with the sun finally beginning to come out. I think the best way of describing Fluffy Machine is by saying it’s like if The Bennies played rock music. The beach stage was completed technical skate punks Thousand Oaks
. Both played good sets but weren’t really my thing.
The final night of the main stage was opened by Chaser
. This set gave me a big lift. It was energetic, fun and full of positivity that I really needed. We were cold after being in the rain all afternoon. This lead to Emma and I going to buy matching hoodies from the merch area. This was perhaps the downside of staying in a flat rather than camping on site, it wasn’t so easy to just go and change when we wanted to. PRH sell some top quality hoodies though, so that’s good. Belvedere
were just starting when we returned to the stage. I’d seen them earlier in the year at New Cross and looked forward to seeing them again now that I’m a bit more familiar with them. I had a nice time seeing them but it was even better watching my friend Mark really get into them – he loves them. Anti-Flag
were the big attraction for us on the Friday main stage. The band played a massive set, full of banger after banger as you would expect from Anti-Flag. The set went far quicker than I would have liked and I had a great time singing along to so many favourite songs. Despite being full of the band’s strong political messages, this really felt like the Anti-Flag party set and, boy, did the folk of PRH party. Once again there was a constant stream of crowd surfers. I was aware that there was a small boy on his father’s shoulders stood behind me so asked the folk around me to make sure we direct the surfers in a different direction so he didn’t have to get down or risk getting hurt. This was such a nice, friendly community that it was no bother for anyone. We love to see it. The Circle Jerks
played next and that just wasn’t for me. Then it was time for the final act of the week. Originally, Bad Religion had been booked to headline but unfortunately they had to pull out late because of a family emergency. This left a lot of speculation as to how the festival would replace them. I think the festival did a great job with this. Rather than getting another “big headliner” they started the after party early with Pigs Parliament
coming on stage to play their karaoke set with a whole host of singers from bands who played and some who were just attending the festival. I’m writing this review a month after the festival and can’t remember exactly who sang what so I won’t try and list them but it was an eclectic set of punk classics that the crowd lapped up. Honestly, I think this would be a great way to end the festival every year. A big highlight of Punk Rock Holiday was seeing what a community experience the whole festival was so it felt right that everyone was together singing along to the songs that brought us all together in the first place. It was a lovely time.
If you’ve got this far into the post – well done, it’s nearly finished. Now’s the time when I would sum the whole week up but if you’ve been reading intently you’ll know that I had a great time. The festival exceeded all expectations. Originally we were planning on PRH being a once in lifetime experience for us but after the week we had that might not be the case. Punk Rock Holdiay is like no festival I’ve ever experienced and I fully recommend going if you ever get the chance. And if you’re lucky enough to be able to go with a big group of friends, I really recommend doing that. PRH is best experience with many pals. And while you’re there, look out for Spinny Man and join in for a spin.