Punk Festival returns to Scarborough Spa for the third consecutive year

The urgent, wholly uncompromising and bellicose sound of punk rock will once again resonate thunderously through The Spa with the third successive incarnation of the Scarborough Punk Festival (SPF) at the end of the month.
Scarborough Punk Festival will take place at the Spa on Easter weekendScarborough Punk Festival will take place at the Spa on Easter weekend
Scarborough Punk Festival will take place at the Spa on Easter weekend

Of the various bands, a number have performed in the town previously during the genre’s heyday years of the late 1970’s and early 80s.

Sham 69, The Rezillos, The Members, Ruts DC, 999, were amongst the numerous punk protagonists who appeared at the town’s legendary former rock venue The Penthouse in St Nicholas Street.

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Similarly, The Meteors and Anti-Nowhere League were amongst the latter-day acts to take the stage at Taboo, a club once situated in Huntriss Row.

Headlining the event this year notably features both the 1977 line up of Sham 69 and Buzzcocks for which this will be their Scarborough debut.

Gary Stephenson, director of Reaper Agency UK and Scarborough Punk Festival said: “I grew up in Scarborough and spent many years promoting small-scale live music events and working with local venues and bands, always with a hope to one day be able to host a large festival at the Scarborough Spa.

“We are into our third year with SPF and this will be the third occasion in a row that we have sold out.

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“It’s a really incredible thing to welcome 1,750 people each year to Scarborough from all parts of the world.

“Further to that, we were very thankful to receive a judges’ award at the recent Scarborough News Business Excellence Awards.”

The influence of what was arguably the ultimate of rebellious youth music cults of the mid-late 1970’s, still resonates profoundly today in the contemporary alternative music scene.

Although now facing the onset of late middle age, the original genre continues to retain a diehard fanbase of highly committed followers.

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Memorably, John Lydon (AKA Rotten) of punk overlords Sex Pistols appeared at The Spa complex in October 2021 with former Jam frontman Paul Weller who is due to perform at the OAT this summer.

Scarborough Punk Festival takes place at The Spa on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March from 12 noon.