Holidays in the sun for resort’s punk festival

Rarely does Blackpool look so, well, different.

Thousands of punk rockers have descended on the resort for the annual Rebellion Festival, which has kicked off at Winter Gardens.

Fans of punk rock at the festival

Fans of punk rock at the festival

And what a sight it is, outrageous outfits and hairstyles everywhere you look, the result a glorious mix in the town centre – Sex Pistol lookalikes with green hair and ripped leather trousers mingling with old ladies out doing their shopping.

The festival, for those not in the know, takes place over four days and features music from more than 200 bands.

The main venue is the Winter Gardens but there are events going on at pubs and clubs throughout the town.

It is expected to attract more than 9,000 punk fans, and not just from the UK but the world over.

I’ve been every year for the last 13 years and I absolutely love it

As if to confirm that, the first person I stop to chat to turns out to be a 48-year-old railway worker from Lillehammer in Norway called Eirik.

“I’ve been every year for the last 13 years and I absolutely love it,” said Eirik, who got into the scene when his uncle returned from a trip to England in the ‘70s with a punk album.

“I work in an office back home so this is a chance for me to let my hair down.

“Blackpool is great. It’s so different to anywhere in England and I always go to the Pleasure Beach.

“But the best thing is just hanging out with people who have the same interest – it’s like being with old friends.”

This year’s festival looks like the biggest and best yet, with Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats, The Buzzcocks and Sham 69 among the big-name artists on the bill.

Not quite as well known are Richard and Tony from the band Spirit Bomb, who I chanced upon as they wandered along Waterloo Road.

“We’re from Birmingham and we played this festival for the first time last year and had a ball,” Richard said.

“It’s a great scene to be involved in, everyone is so friendly, and Blackpool feels like the perfect place to host it because it is a town where people are encouraged to come and just enjoy themselves.”

The Rebellion Festival will continue until Sunday.