The island Of Punk festival : live review of punk fest on Scottish island

The Island Of Punk festival
Crammond island Edinburgh
August 2012

All photos and words : Andy Thorn

The ultimate in DOY festivals sees Scottish punk take a generator to an island near Edinburgh and put their own mini festival on.

Cries of “Somebody’s nicked the petrol!” boomed over the PA. The Island Of Punk generator was running low on fuel and the festival was in danger of finishing early or becoming an unplugged gig with three bands still to perform. Short Bus Window Lickers take to the stage and a witch hunt is already underway to track down the petrol thief. The stranded tourists and fisherman are probably thinking wtf while a fire breathing punk is perhaps a clue to the culprit. This is a DIY punk gig at its finest.

Edinburgh has played host to an annual Punx Picnic for years and in recent times it has moved to Crammond Island. Crammond is an uninhabited island about a mile out at sea in the Firth of Forth and can only be accessed during low tide. The island was used as a lookout during WWII and many of the pillboxes remain today. It’s an early start due to the tidal crossing window, band members and punters all pitch in to help carry speakers and gear across the causeway onto the island.

A real community spirit was observed amongst the two hundred strong crowd with dedicated litter pickers ensuring everything was bagged up and nothing left behind. A whip round is carried out for the bands that travelled from outside of Edinburgh. Lethal home brewed ale is for sale and judging by some of the states it was a winning formula.

Despite complaints about the smell of dog shit coming from the stage Edinburgh punk legends Happy Spastics really get crowd jumping. This is possibly the only festival where punks and dogs share the same moshpit. Filthpact brought their own take on crust grindcore to the festival and go down a treat. Big Fat Panada close the day with stage invasion and mass sing-along to their ska anthems.

While the masses clamber for free tickets for acts performing at the Fringe in central Edinburgh this is where the real free entertainment is at. As one guys tattoo says “Punx no deed”. Roll on next year’s festival.

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