This year’s WTFest boasts an impressive line-up, with more than 50 local and international punk, ska and hardcore acts descending on the city centre for four days of good-natured carnage. This fourth incarnation of Southampton’s only independent, multi-day festival brings with it headline sets from Kingston’s indie-rockers Tellison, London’s dub and ska outfit The Skints, American post-punkers Polar Bear Club and the Welsh hardcore band Bastions.
Festivities kick-off on the Thursday, with Tellison being joined by local heroes Burn The Fleet at The Joiners. With Tellison proving capable of packing out a larger venue at last year’s SMILE Festival performance at the Soul Cellar, it promises to be a fine opening and a rare opportunity to catch them in such close confines. If you’re planning on being there, make sure you get down early to catch Portsmouth’s Polio, who have been dominating the local scene with floor-shaking math-beats and their self professed “disgusting” riffs.
The action continues at The Joiners on both Friday and Saturday, with highlights provided by both Crazy Arm and Anti-Vigilante, who play back to back on the Friday. The latter play a saxophone driven brand of skacore not dissimilar to their Milton Keynes compatriots Capdown, that would force movement out of even the most torpid of audiences.
Further stages open across the city allowing weekend-ticket holders to witness The Flatliners in the unusual surroundings of Bargate Castle on the Saturday before the opening of four stages split between The King Alfred pub and UNIT on the Sunday. Pop-punk fans will be well catered for with Calvinball headlining the Punx Stage at UNIT; while those in the mood for something a bit more aggressive can head up the road to The King Alfred for some hardcore provided by Hospitals and Bastions amongst others.
However, the hidden gem of the weekend may be found nestled in the small-print of the Acoustix Bench at UNIT on Sunday. Having only performed a handful of shows to date, Southampton’s own Big Fin will be returning to the venue to take their shoes off, light some candles and play some folk-inspired acoustic numbers that will remind you of Mumford and Sons and Dry The River. Fronted by Matthew Reynolds (Drawings and ex-Howard’s Alias), now would be a good time to catch them before they inevitably move onto much bigger things.
WTFest 4 will be running from 30th August to the 2nd of September. There are still a handful of weekend tickets (£30) left with day tickets (£7) still available. Visit the Facebook page for full line-up and ticket details.
Pacer headline a free-entry pre-party at The Avondale House Wednesday 29th August, all are welcome. Event details are here.