On my way to Brakrock, our own Belgium Punk Rock Holiday festival, it was raining swimming pools but luckily it kept dry for the rest of the day. Although the t° could be a bit warmer I had a great time at this fine outdoor punk rock fest at the Ter Elstlei in Duffel.
Brakrock is the annual gathering of punk rock minded people who go to the festival not only for the atmosphere in this nice green park setting with its riverbank, water and castle ruin but mostly for the great music divided over two stages AND without any overlapping shows.
Brakrocks history start in 2012 and over the years they had a fine collection of bands on its stages. I loved the 2016 edition but this year might be their best ever (line-up wise) with The Real Danger, Not On Tour, Useless ID, D.O.A., Undeclinable Ambuscade, The Real McKenzies, No Fun At All, Good Riddance, Face To Face, Altitude, F.O.D. Nothington, Get Dead, Pears, Unsure, Chixdiggit, 88 Finger Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket.
- EDITION 2012: Billy The Kill, CobraSkulls, Arizona, F.O.D, Overweight, Simple Simons, C.A.B
- EDITION 2013: Belgian Asociality, Teenage Bottlerocket, Get Dead, Straightaway, Knalselder, Antillectual, Toxic Shock, Face The Fax, Wölf, Steamy Grease, The Reeves, This Kid, Archetype, Momma Knows Best, Harsh Realms, TST, Dusty Boys Horseclub, White Label
- EDITION 2014: Useless ID, Implants, Morning Glory, Joe Mcmahon, Mark Foggo, Flatcat, Wolf Banes, Local Resident Failure, Counterpunch, F.O.D, Homer, Officer Down, Trash Candy, Wölf, Young Hearts, Psychonaut.
- EDITION 2015: Teenage Bottlerocket, Diablo Blvd, Kids Insane, Tim Vantol, Get Dead, Not On Tour, Adrenalized, The Decline, FOD, The Setup, Skin Of Tears, The Priceduifkes, Cheap Drugs, You Nervous?, Set Things Right, Moments, Generation 84, NOFX coverband
- EDITION 2016: Strung Out, Adolescents,The Dwarves, A Wilhelm Scream, Flatliners, Authority Zero, Such Gold, Versus The World, Mean Jeans, Antillectual, Young Hearts with guests Unsure and Gwyllions, Trophy Lungs, The Decline, Homer, The Uprising, For I Am, Kill The President, Cold Reading, Secret Faith, Hans Rooftop, Mutt,
- EDITION 2017: The Real Danger, Not On Tour, Useless ID, D.O.A., Undeclinable Ambuscade, The Real McKenzies, No Fun At All, Good Riddance, Face To Face, Altitude, F.O.D. Nothington, Get Dead, Pears, Unsure, Chixdiggit, 88 Finger Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket
My personal highlights (from 14:00 on, couldn’t be there earlier) were No Fun At All who still proved to be one of Sweden’s best, Face To Face who just killed it, Teenage Bottlerocket was great and Unsure nailed it. Also Get Dead (bit of an underrated band if you ask me), Nothington, Chixdiggit, 88 Finger Louie and Undeclinable Ambuscade played a great show. Honestly there were no real downers here or maybe The Real Mckenzies (they always will be the little brother of the Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly) and D.O.A. These old farts could not really convince me.
THE ECO THING AND THE GROWING PAINS
Brakrock is an eco-minded festival that pays attention to their ecological footprint when it comes to use of space, materials, water, energy, catering, waste, … also their choice for local and Fairtrade products and their social awareness can be seen as an example for a lot of festivals. At any time the festival area looks pretty clean in comparison with some other festivals where you are walking through garbage by the end of the day.
But as the festival has grown in attendees the eco thing could not really meet with the extra crowd. For example there were not enough reusable drinking cups (so they had to use throwaway cups which is a shame when you pull the eco card.
Also there wasn’t enough food in the catering area at times (its not good publicity when you run out of wraps and fries). Also some sme extra choice in food would be nice, there more than hamburgers, fries and wraps. Maybe some extra food trucks would be a nice addition in the future (ex. Just like your mom, Loving Hut Veganerie, …). It might solve to long waiting lines.
Well mostly these are just some growing pains that can easily be solved. Keep up to good work Brakrock we need more fests like yours.