Punkfest – Support Your Local Scene

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by Kenada Quinlan

Punkfest has evolved from humble beginnings to touring national and international acts while remaining true to their cause by supporting bands at a local level. Established approximately 6 years ago by Cathy Burton, Jack Gillespe and Chris Burton or ‘Sarge’ [R.I.P.] from Toerag, and later, friend and fellow visionary Briony stepping in to help after Chris was tragically killed in a car accident.

Exposing incredible independent talent with the help of volunteers over the years, Cathy Burton sheds some light on where the movement is now and how you can get involved.

Cathy Burton and Otto from Mouthguard

What happened on the night Punkfest come to life?
Punkfest kind of grew out of the East Brisbane punk scene initially…A specific night? I guess I’d have to say when two scruffy punks walked into the Aussie Nash and asked if their band Toerag and some other local street punks could play there. Jack Rag came up with the name Punkfest and it was initially only at the Nash until it was closed for reno’s. But they were great shows and there were still heaps of bands out there looking for gigs, so Briony (and later Chris Converse) and I continued running it through other venues.

[The shows are] mostly at the Jubilee and more recently at the Prince of Wales. I love the POW it really remands me of the Aussie Nash where we started. It’s one of the few remaining real pubs left – it’s genuinely unpretentious and with a great vibe and atmosphere.

How much work is involved – are you juggling several projects/lives at once?
More than you would think! And it is definitely a juggle. As well as Punkfest I’m booking for a couple of other venues as well- both of whom are looking for shows every Friday and Saturday so I’m constantly on the lookout for independent promoters/labels etc. (of any genre) to help out there. I have a full-time job as well so it makes for a very hectic schedule.

How can people get involved?
CALL ME! My number is 0416 640 013. Punkfest is non profit so people help out strictly as volunteers and we never have enough volunteers – so any involvement is greatly appreciated. Especially graphic artists and people who are keen to get involved in the promotional side of things.

Do you have any advice for people thinking about becoming an Independent Promoter?
Don’t do it for the money. You’ll go broke or mad, if the stress doesn’t kill you. If you do it for the love of the music and the industry you’ll have the time of your life and meet some incredible people.

What’s on the horizon for Punkfest?
On the immediate horizon we’re really looking forward to Blowhards CD launch on Nov. 13th and The Go Sets CD launch tour on Nov 20th both at the Jubilee.

October 30th we have a SKA and Reggae night at the Prince of Wales Hotel with SKA MASTERS from the UK, and SKA legend, Chris Murray from USA.

Stalwarts TOPNOVIL are heading our way as well in November. So lots coming up as well as some surprises that I have to keep under wraps at the moment!

Get In Touch:

Check out Punkfest on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/heckleentertainment.

Or if you’re interested in volunteering, promoting or you;re in a punk band, send Cathy Burton an email.

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