‘Punks may look tough but they’re big softies’

Erase Today in 1994. Andy Higgins, centre
Erase Today in 1994. Andy Higgins, centre

Local punk fans are rallying round ready for this year’s Rebellion Festival to get underway.

Andy Higgins, formerly of local punk band Erase Today, is part of the team which puts on the festival which starts on Thursday.

Andy played the first Rebellion in 1996, in a gig which was actually the band’s last outing.

And Thursday will see him on the Almost Acoustic stage at the Winter Gardens music celebration.

Other local names lining up for the weekend are The Poly-Esters at 12.30pm on the New Bands Stage on Thursday, and Dysphonia at 3.50pm in The Arena on Friday.

Andy, who runs Blackpool Rox magazine as well as helping with Rebellion, said: “Blackpool has always had quite a good undergroundpunk scene going back to the 70s and it’s still there today.

Blackpool has always had quite a good undergroundpunk scene going back to the 70s and it’s still there today

“It’s quite an artistic, transient scene too, and that’s tied into the resort’s entertainment traditions.”

Rebellion in recent years has been keen to boost its position in the local community, encouraging residents to come along - partly by the introduction of day tickets - as well as working with local charities.

This year’s charity is Streetlife.

And Andy stressed how the punk and general music community was made up of generous people.

“They may look tough with the leather and mohicans, but they are total softies and are some of the most generous people you’ll meet.

“There’s a real hope to be able to extend the support to other charities.”

As well as the line-up from Thursday to Sunday at the Winter Gardens including headliners Boomtown Rats and Buzzcocks. which draws in thousands of visitors to the resort, there’s a full fringe programme

“What’s really important, though, is that while there’s all the official weekend at the Winter Gardens, there are also a lot of bands in the bars around town too,” Andy said.

“Some of those bands are really interesting, perhaps they can’t get on the official Rebellion bill as they’re a newer act, but it’s a real hive of activity.”

For full festival details visit www.rebellionfestivals.com.