Punk By The Sea Festival – why Goldblade and others bands will not be playing

Punk By The Sea festival announces bill


This has been a very messy few days.

We were looking forward to playing Punk By The sea. We played it last year and it was a good day.

The promoters are nice people if a bit naive in the ways of festival- last year this worked ok . this year it’s been a bit messy.


The first warning was when the website suddenly said that bands were to be paid by cheque only. No-one got in touch to tell us this, it was just written on their website. Then we heard the PA had pulled out because of the same situation and then the Damned and other bands.


Some people are wondering why you can’t go and play a gig when you have been promised  a cheque that will almost defiantly bounce and that it is somehow contravening the imaginary code of punk rock which apparently states that you should not get paid for playing a gig.


The idea of losing £600 for a 12 hour round trip in the van to play the gig seems a tad dumb.

Cheques bounce, cash doesn’t. We can’t for the van hire/fuel and driver with a ratty old cheque. We can’t pay our driver, who cancelled a day’s work to do this, with a ratty cheque. We have to pay for these things with proper money, that’s the way it it is in the real world. Even Crass needed some money back in the day.


We desperately tried to sort the situation out but none of the promoters would return any calls and then their phones were switched off. Various reports coming back from the festival were pretty grim. We still would have gone down after all of this if there was some promise of cash so we could pay our bills because we like to pay our bills. We don’t want to pay our van driver with a dodgy cheque. We are not those kind of people.

So we have pulled out, which hurts because we hardly pull out of anything.

Once we heard the UK Subs had pulled out then we knew we were right- the UK Subs never pull out of anything. Charlie Harper will be playing a gig during Armagedeon. This is a  sign of how desperate the festival has got.


The festival is staggering on. The internet is rife with rumours but it seems like a scaled down version of the vent is happening. The  latest is that the Damned are playing again whilst most other brands are not.


Good luck and hope no-one lost any money and the promoters?  you are a sound bunch of people but this gig was a too big to pull off, a bit of communication would have helped and we would have all loved to have helped you make the festival a success instead of this messy situation.



THe PUNK BY THE SEA 4 DAYER was set to take place at
South Parade Pier, Portsmouth 14th ”“ 17th June 2012
with 75 bands, 2 stages over 4 days inc GBH, THE REZILLOS, THE DAMNED, SHAM 69, GOLDBLADE and SLAUGHTER and The DOGS …

The event Facebook page is now advising ticket holders to contact the purchase point to obtain a refund.


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  1. It may have or may not have been cancelled depending what you read, but we don’t need a PA or a stage! Anyone still in Southsea over the weekend can see us playing somewhere near the sea!
    Incompetence and crap organisation are what we thrive on!
    Bring on The pUKEs!!!
    Dazzle – drum


    Published on Friday 15 June 2012 12:13 PORTSMOUTH NEWS

    A HUGE weekend punk festival featuring veteran act The Damned could be called off due to financial problems.

    The promoter behind Punk By The Sea, which is being held at South Parade Pier, in Southsea, broke the news in a statement released on Facebook this morning.

    He told fans that the festival might not go ahead tomorrow and Sunday because of cash flow problems and having inexperience of putting on such a huge event.

    Ticket holders have been told that they will receive full refunds if the four-day event, which began last night, is called off.

    The Damned, which formed in 1976, are due to be the headline act tomorrow.

    The group were the first ever punk rock band to have an album – Damned Damned Damned – in the UK music charts.

    The festival is still due to go ahead tonight – but with fewer acts.

    It is unknown whether bands including The Rezillos, Chelsea, Menace, Eastfield and Night of Treason have decided to pull out.

    The statement said: \’Due to a break down in communication, cash flow problems and the inexperience of putting on such a big event Punk By The Sea has occured some problems. We are aware of the up roar this has caused.

    \’We want to give punks as many days of punk rock we can, and we are now currently working to carry on.

    But as of now we only know that tonight is definitely on.\’

  3. How “inexperienced” do you need to be?

    It ain’t rocket science, you book a venue, you book sound and light, stewards etc…. and you book some bands. you add up your overheads.

    then you sell tckets, sell stall space, get sponsorship etc… you add up your likely income

    you have your break even point. If you don’t get anywhere near that with a few weeks to go – THEN you cancel the event, not on the fucking day! Sorry John but you are being too kind, some friends of mine who were attending this festival to run a stall travelled hundreds of miles and set up their stall and then found out through whispers and rumours that the festival was off. On his Birthday too!!!

    Sorry, but if you can’t handle the event, don’t put it on.

    Our events company has a very simple philosphy and that is we only do gigs where the venue are happy, the acts are happy and get looked after and paid (if its a paying gig!) and the fans get value for money. If the event co makes money too thats great but if they don’t, then we try harder next time!

    • my band the validators got an email on may 10th i think from PBTS saying they only had 8 tickets left for the saturday date we understood the event was nearly sold out so their shouldnt have been a problem surley

  4. Who gets paid in cash nowadays ?

    • bands need cash to pay for fuel hotels food drink things like that whilst on the road, also its easier to split between band memders etc paypal works but hard cash is easier all round!!

  5. Well said John, we were pretty lucky in the respect they contacted me last night to say things were looking ropey with the fest but could we still come down and play. I agreed saying as long as we got paid in cash we would deffo drive the 300 and odd miles for the show no sweat. Ok he said i will ring in morning to let you know the situation, so 9am arrives along with a text message say they have had to cancel us as the whole fest may fall apart and they didnt want us to travel all the way from Newcastle to find that the gig was off.
    Ok fair do’s these things happen, but then this afternoon they seem to have got it back up n running.PBTS then made a statement on FB suggesting that bands pulled out of their own accord and not to listen to rumours etc ‘WTF’ all members of my band took a day off work for the fest booked non-refundable hotels and paid for driver/merch guy!!! why the hell would we pull out? I think the real reason we were pulled off is to save cash along with other bands, they are scraping together what they can to pay the bigger bands that have contracts signed and sealed with them. Bands like the Damned will have a contract to play if they dont they are in breach PBTS has a contract to pay them he if he dont he is in breach. And i am sure this is the case for all the bigger bands that are now playing.
    Ok thats the bottom line, smaller bands get dumped to save cash. But who is gonna pay our days wage our hotels and our driver/merch guy???? time will tell. it fucking stinks

  6. Gotta say it looks like a lot of the smaller bands have been treated really badly in all this and I think Chris from Crashed Out makes a valid point. What a nightmare and a huge disappointment for you guys. Jimmy Pursey seems to be constantly posting on the PBTS wall.. WTF is that all about??

  7. Slightly Suspicious

    I think the problem is more to do with the fact that the people organising this festival are utter illiterate morons who should really be investigated by someone, the police or someone because rumour has it that the ‘charity’ is a front for money making and ripping people off!!

  8. What a farce. The most frustrating thing is the total lack of communication by the organisers last night and for much of today. If it wasn’t for some of the bands trying to salvage something nothing would have happened. Unfortunately because of the bad communication many people who have tickets and had booked accommodation/transport who may have still attended are not now doing so. These people have lost big time. I hope they get some form of refund and the organisers [sic] don’t use the excuse that they aren’t entitled to one because the Damned and other big acts still played.

    Like the way this LTW is written BTW. It echoes the illiterate postings of the organisers that have been added to their Facebook page today.

  9. This was posted 10 minutes ago on FB:



  10. Well said John and some insightful comments too.
    I suspect Damned will end up playing for the contractual reasons explained above but as it’s to the detriment of the smaller bands and because of the lack of respect and total chaos that the organisers have caused has pissed me off to such an extent that that I’m having none of it.
    I sincerely hope the organisers do have the right motives for raising money for such a good cause but for fucks sake anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have seen this coming a few weeks ago. They’ve had some people’s cash for months now don’t forget.
    Feel very sorry for lots of people who’ve been really screwed by this.

  11. Was SO close to getting tickets for this. Glad I didn’t now :-/ . If it is rum by the gang I think it is then they put on quite a few gigs with no problems. Something on this scale is just a completely different ball game. Shitty business, feel bad for all the hardworking bands and punters that got shafted

  12. VERYsuspicious

    What a total farce this has turned out to be. I feel sincerely for all those bands / people who have paid over their hard-earned cash for travel, hotels, tickets, etc and after tonight’s wonderfully polite statement onPBTS facebook page “ITS ON 2NITE !!!!!!!! @ SOUTH PRADE PIER AND AS THE EVENT HAS TAKEN PLACE THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS COME OR DONT COME UR CHOICE ?”
    Absolutely disgusting behaviour. But very good report from Mr John Robb – totally nice bloke who will help anyone out – so when HE gets miffed with someone they defo have stepped out of order.
    Surely any twit trying to organise an event would, as a matter of good faith and common sense (which seems sadly lacking in this case), keep all the bands, and paying public up to speed on what’s happening.
    The fact that no one was contactable, and they relied on text messages and the odd post on facebook suggests that all is not quite as it would seem. The charity that is to benefit (or so we are led to believe) is a very worthy one, but if the tickets have been sold in advance where on earth has all the money gone if the bands havent yet been paid???
    Hmmm, I definitely think someone needs to be looking into this to make sure that everything is above board and the charity is not being “used” as a front for someone to line their pockets.

  13. £100 a pop for a ticket for the four days – nearly sold out…
    How much does it cost to hire south parade pier anyway?

  14. Steve Racket
    I play for the Lurkers, loaded 44 and Hi fi spitfires. I drove from sunderland yesterday to get there in good time. My plan was to halve the journey by staying in Leicester. When i got to Leicester last night thats when i recieved all the texts phone calls and read statments and comments on face book. If there had been a shred of positivity from punk by thre sea i would have continued my journey today. I also read statments from bands like the uk subs who said they were pulling out of the event because of lack of comunication from the organisers. Now i am reading that the organisers are trying to blame the bands for listening to rumours.Rumours only spread when there is silence. Plus the messages i was reading were from punters, stall holders and friends of the organisers who were there last night. I left it till the last minute before cancelling my hotel and making my journey back. Also Crashed out contacted me to tell me the organisers had text them to tell them they had been cancelled because they didn’t want them travelling all the way from the north east incase it all fell to bits. Crashed out are good friends of mine so they give me the warning as i also come from the north east. I am already out of pocket travelling that far so i could’t take the risk in travelling any further with no information. At one point i read a statement saying what bands were playing and what bands were not plaing. The bands i play for were not on any of the lists. Maybe i dreamt i was in a band, who am i? Sorry folks, i really was looking forward to playing punk by the sea.I do hope it has went well tonight for the punks who turned up for it. It was only a couple of weeks ago when i was meant to be playing The bath punk festival. What the fuck is going on. All the best to you who went or didn’t.


    Folks sorry to say as Punkbythesea failed to contact FIRE EXIT and most of the other bands playing this weekend ..after trying to get them last night for over 6 hours …nothing …I was suppose to fly at 650 this morn ,im not flying down..rather stick to festivals and promoters that I know …They couldnt run a fucking bath : not even a return phone call or text . weve lost over £1000 in transport and double on hotel bookn…could have given us some information ..SHOCKING…and feel so sorry for our mates from Germany and around the UK that have spent money on hotels and transport to be flogged off..See you at Rebellion in August ..

  16. too poor to go in the first place

    The Damned posted this a little while ago on their official website (http://www.officialdamned.com/urgent-punk-by-the-sea-cancelled-friday-5th-june-2012.html)

    “URGENT – PUNK BY THE SEA CANCELLED – Friday 5th June 2012

    It is with deep regret that we have to announce that we have just received definitive news from the management at South Parade Pier, Portsmouth that the Punk By The Sea Festival has been cancelled. We will post more news as we receive it but advise ticket holders to seek refunds from the relevant ticket agencies.”

    No official updates as yet on either the Pier’s facebook or the PBTS one.

    • too poor to go in the first place

      Oh – Jimmy Pursey has just posted on the PBTS facebook at 1.40am today, Saturday, to say he’s talking to the Pier’s owners to try and salvage the event.

  17. I feel so bad for the punters, bands, vendors and many other people involved; after TLJ being canned this is starting to look like groundhog day.

    Did someone just go to Rebellion one year and naively think “hey this is an easy way to make a few quid” ?

    I would never offer to pay bands by cheque John, and don’t blame you or any of the other bands for not accepting it. And you are spot on about the “imaginary code of punk rock” (the same one that thinks punk bands can get free flights to Australia) .

    Quite apart from everything else this is going to make all these events harder to organise for the genuine people, so much trust has been lost with venues, punters and bands. There are no winners here.

    See you at Rebellion!

  18. I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation but feel sorry for the bands and fans who have lost time and money and what they thought would be a pleasurable weekend. I live fairly locally to this event but it didn’t really cross my mind to go despite there being some good bands on – too many imponderables and what I heard on the local grapevine was not good at all.

    To me it sounds like the promoters were stringing people along saying the event was nearly sold out when it wasn’t but I could be wrong about that. All in all its a sorry turn of events but perhaps predicatble.

  19. After the fiasco of The Last Jubilee and now this one it will be virtually impossible for anyone to organise a large (new) punk event…no punters will buy tickets, and few bands will be willing to play…especially after some have been badly stung twice in the space of 3 weeks.

    It may even tarnish the image of Rebellion, which has been successfully running for years and proves that it can be done on a large scale.

    Getting refunds for either of these cancelled events is looking quite tricky too.

  20. Also its worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of the people in the bands playing there are just people like you and I, trying to balance their day job, family commitments and whatever with trying to do the thing they love and hoping to just about break even at best or maybe just a small loss. So attempting to blame the bands for problems is a little unfair I feel.

  21. From The Damned Facebook Fan Page:-

    “So, the Punk by the sea festival is now not gonna happen for us tomorrow. The official statement on the damned website does not begin to explain the reasons as they have to be diplomatic, but i can tell it like i saw it unfold. ……….For the last few days we have been trying by any means possible to contact the promoters to find out exactly why the show has had so many rumors about on/off etc, and until today, all we were getting was either no tone on the phone or right to answer phone. When we finally got in touch, the promoter told us he regretted the fact that we couldn’t play the gig!!!!!! WTF!!! We are and have been on the road and geared up for playing this show. We arranged the falmouth gig tonight specifically to route in that Portsmouth show. All the bands were contacting us to see if we were blowing it off, as they had heard we were, but we had no info from the promoter that the gig was off until 10.30pm tonight, whilst we were playing the falmouth show, when the venue manager ( not the promoter) informed us that the promoter had failed to pay the P.A company for services over the weekend, and therefore the PA would not be available for tomorrow, therefore, no bands would be able to play. He also mentioned that the promoter was no longer available at the show to pay ANY bands, never mind the security or venue. I understand the bands played tonight ( Friday) probably knowing that they would not be paid, and we were totally prepared to turn up tomorrow and do what we could to make at least our show happen, but without a PA, there is NO SHOW, and you can thank the complete amateurism of the promoters, who were totally unwilling to listen to offers of help from a lot of bands for this debacle, which, quite frankly, makes a mockery of the punk unity ethic, as he could have dug himself out of this hole by simply picking up the phone and not ignoring everything to the point of disaster, which it ultimately reached. The Damned are fully, gloriously pissed off and wanted dearly to do this show and tried everything within our power to make it happen. Unfortunately, another one bites the dust, not due to any recession issues, but complete and total ineptitude from someone who should have been able to put lipstick on a pig. Hrumph!”

  22. too poor to go in the first place

    The punks stranded in Portsmouth have rallied round and organised an alternative free DIY event for today and tomorrow here:
    The Milton Arms and The Barn
    …147 Milton Road
    PO4 8PR

    Keep checking for updates on the pbts facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/punk.sea.5) but looks like 4pm-2am tonight, Saturday, and 2pm til late tomorrow. And according to Jimmy Pursey’s facebook updates, Sham are heading down to play there.

  23. Funny how a bunch of punks stranded in Pompey could rally round and organise something from the ruins of this when the completely useless neglible tossers at PBTS couldnt organise a piss up in a brewery with months of notice!!

    • Yes, I think it’s brilliant the way everyone’s rallying round and getting on with it – proper DIY punk spirit there. I’m not involved, but I’m proud and happy from a distance. Ongoing updates over on the pbts facebook – Vice Squad and Sham both definitely playing, along with many others today and tomorrow.

  24. Its sounds to me like a “You get paid when we get paid” situation.. By handing out cheques it gives the promoters time to get their money in. To organise an event on this scale, you need to have the financial backing in place before you start, and that is’nt easy in this day an age. Thats why cash is king!..so yes i agree!, stuff the cheques!

  25. Robin Brunskill

    Easily sorted.
    1) Performance contract drawn up by lawyers, 50% of money paid to the band upon agreement that they will perform, and money transferred by BACS. 50% cash paid on day of performance. If either party do not hold to this agreement, its illegal, its fraud, and its settled in the small claims court. A clause for bad health of significant band member might be a good idea.

    2)Performance Insurance. See Equity, (actors union) for details. Every promoter or producer needs insurance…all I did was put on a Shakespeare at a very calm festival in 1990, but I got insurance just in case, and checked on the Festival insurance policy too. Performers need to see an insurance cert, which ensures that complete payment will be paid in the event of malady or foul play by the promoters, checking before they sign anything that the insurance cert is real. An insurance broker will advise with this one.

    3)If the promoters can’t afford to abide by the above, they are in the wrong business.

    4)Good luck!

  26. Robin Brunskill

    John, the moment they announced, (not to you directly) “we pay by cheque” was the moment that the spirit of the agreement was broken,and therefore they gave you no choice but to withdraw your offer of performance. Just sayin….

  27. I went along to this for the Saturday; met up with the rest of my mob and the first thing they say is “it’s all cancelled”. Someone in the bar at the hotel opposite the pier seemed to sorting out the Milton Arms gig and we went there. Good effort and up the Pukes! Marvellous band. Some bloke was apparently wandering around claiming to be the stage manager and was somehow related to the original festival. Maybe I’m just contributing to the rumour mill though. No-one seemed to know anything.

    The gig in the Milton Arms seemed restricted to the bar area, unless the main room opened later. Fantastic effort getting that sorted though, many thanks to whoever got it together…..Place was packed, and leaving to get a bite to eat meant a long wait to get back in so after hearing Warhead from outside we wandered off to tour various Southsea pubs.

    Booked on credit card which while not being very punk I suppose at least hopefully means I might get the money back.

  28. These nasty rip off merchants have now rumor has it they have deserted their home overnight to avoid having to face this mess. Ah well the council will pay yet again as they are complete fraudsters and benefit scabs pretending to be disabled. Hunt em down and make them pay back the people I say, there cant be to many Darrin Cook’s in the UK and if they are really on benefits they will be easily trackable .

  29. I just got back from Punk by the Sea, having travelled down all the way from Hull on Thursday morning. It had such potential, the line up looked great, the venue would have been perfect and there were some awesome people down there, but my god, what a fuck-around this weekend has been.

    We heard rumours about it being called off before we even got to the pier and there were all sorts of wild stories flying around but despite this the first two nights went off more or less as planned. We saw some great acts on both nights and the Rezillos and Chelsea both did awesome sets on the Friday.

    Then it all went to shit…

    The story as I understand it from talking to various fans and band members (and I must stress this is only what I’ve heard, please don’t take this as hard fact) is that one of the promoters failed to pay the PA or any of the bands and disappeared, taking a large sum of money out of the festivals bank account, leading to everything being cancelled on Saturday morning.

    I will say this though, the people who were left really pulled together to salvage something from this train-wreck of a weekend. A new venue was found The Milton Arms, which was far too small (especially on the Saturday when there were so many bodies crammed into that little place I felt like I was going to die!), and many of the bands who were already there very kindly agreed to play for free (there were a few donation buckets put out for the bands and everyone chipped in what they could). Over those two desperate days we got to see Vice Squad, UK Subs, TV Smith, Sham 69 and plenty of other fantastic artists.

    Special thanks must go out to Bubba and Tara who worked their arses off to do something for the fans. You guys rock!

    So in conclusion, yeah I’m pretty pissed off, I came a long way and I didn’t get what I’d paid for. I feel ripped off and I want my money back, but Saturday and Sunday reminded me what punk is all about. We all got fucked over, but we still managed to have one hell of a party.

  30. VERYsuspicious

    Well, after no one hearing anything at all from Cook Sr and Jr since the PBTS debacle (apart from the childish rants by the cook daughters on facebook threatening people) it was finally announced that an “official statement” would appear today on the PBTS fb page.
    It read as follows:-



    Before we go in to detail about the various aspects and reasons for the cancellation of punk by the sea this year, I would like to confirm refunds will be available.

    Right, as you know we have put on successful gigs for the past year or so we have never had any problems as what happened this year, which we are deeply sorry for, Firstly DON\’T listen to the stuff that has been put on Facebook or the rumors you hear, our Facebook was hacked the on the Thursday of the event and things like the event being cancelled and no refunds being given were all put up, this is completely and utterly untrue, we have not moved to America and we have not ran off with your money 1. Gigantic still has some of the money and Pay pal has most of the rest 2. The only money we have obtained is the money that was given to us by cheque or by cash. Also we were evicted from out house due to complaining about repairs that needed to be done. So we haven\’t done a runner and some of the bands know were we are now living (witch is still in the UK). The reason for no communication with anyone is we had no Internet access and we were burgled after the event being cancelled and some of our electrical equipment was stolen i.e. phones and TVs etc. As you will probley know we tried our best to keep the event going and the Thursday and Friday went ahead.

    So why was it cancelled? You ask .

    The full story is we had lots of unforeseeable things pop up like barrier company pulling out and then due to other reasons that were partly our fault we lost our pa company and then they went and told bands witch our friends of ours and told them lies and then we had a few bands pull out and the whole event just got messy witch we apologies for but we did try our best and we didn\’t want to let anyone down. The event went on for two day the Thursday and Friday witch we both successful.


    We will be giving full refunds to the people who bought Saturday or Sunday day tickets. People who bought the weekender tickets you will be getting a 50% refund because two days went ahead. Please bare with use due to we payed out bands deposits and hotels etc. but we will refund you all, so here is a number to contact us on this will be open between 2pm and 6pm Monday to Friday. 07542403693 and email use on pbts_refunds@yahoo.co.uk we will try to get this sorted.

    All the Best 


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