Holly – Hell Hath No Fury – Rage is Contagious! 🔥

To be fair, I am pretty sure everyone is becoming sick & tired of the same all cis-male mediocre line-ups singing about crazy ex girlfriends & boats & hoes.

💖 What was the scene like before you came along?

I was actually out of the scene for about a decade before starting up a band & getting back into it (long story!).

But coming back into it made me realise, that even though there are a few feminist collectives & inclusive promoters across the UK – it was still cis-male heavy, still with a lot of problematic groups & individuals, thus still a lot of work to be done – work that I wanted to be a part of!

💖 What different things does HHNF do?

From the majority of promoters across the UK, we want to focus on equity within the scene, or “balancing the scales” as it were.

The difference from other feminist collectives is that we cover several sub-genres from indie/pop punk & skate punk to hardcore, queer-core & obnoxious riot grrrl.

We are very much politically driven – & most, if not all the bands we have put on/released records/do distro for, have songs that are socio-political & channel their anger at oppression through their music.

💖 What is your mission?

Overall – for womxn, non-binary & queer powered bands to get the platform they need & deserve.

I want HHNF to be a place where new bands get discovered, get more bookings, get more exposure & get their message out. Plant the seeds, so to speak.

I want HHNF to be a place where new bands get discovered, get more bookings, get more exposure & get their message out

💖 How has HHNF grown since you first started it?

10 fold! It’s incredibly overwhelming. I was speechless at this year’s fest! It felt so much bigger than I was. Not sure I can even beat it to be honest!

We’ve put some releases out, started putting on bigger bands, we’re generally building a big network across the UK & internationally with others who are involved in the punk scene.

I personally have grown as a person, & have learnt many lessons from my mutuals in terms of checking my privilege & what more I can do to create safer spaces at our events.

💖 You first started out in Bristol but have had more challenges up North since your move to Manchester. What would you say the differences are between the different scenes?

Speaking about the DIY Punk scene exclusively, Bristol has always been way ahead of its time in terms of the radical feminist & queer punk community, inclusivity, safer spaces & accountability.  

Manchester appears to take a more subtle approach to inclusivity, which is no bad thing at all! It is how we all start before we naturally start to become far more hyper-vigilant about what’s going on around us at shows. & also the feeling you get when you start seeing the difference progressive change makes to people lives.

Case in point, Manchester Punk Festival, every year they take on feedback & integrate positive change.

It has been hard work seeking out the other queer punx in a new city. I kind of felt like I lost my identity & it upset me so much, but I am getting a lot more regular queer, non-cis male & feminist attendees show up to & play my gigs. & some are becoming my new pals 💓

💖 What challenges have you faced doing this kind of work as a womxn?

I get “so, who are you?” & “are you just a groupie” a lot & I struggle with being taken seriously or even considered by bigger booking agents & bands.

That’s why I work with cis-male allies who are happy to use their privilege within the punk scene to help me out, build trust with booking agents, band managers, venues & the scene in general. I mean, it’s bullshit that I should do that but that’s a good ally right there.

Punk promoters have inherently been cis-men putting on all cis-male punk rock line-ups. The ones that are still around today have been doing this for over a decade – even longer. So they have established deals with venues, have their loyal fan base & people are guaranteed to go to their shows.

Whereas the newer promoters, who tend to have adopted the diverse, safer spaces approach, are frequently losing money at shows, because they have to pay hire/sound engineer fees & they don’t have a trusted fan base.

Oh, & of course also get accused of reverse sexism, being labelled as a feminazi & SJW because we challenge the norms – it makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable still.

@natterers perform HHNF Fest 📸 : @chericlouds

💖 What changes need to be made in the scene in order to support more people being able to do things like this?

I can’t stress enough the importance of working together as a community: bloggers, reviewers, zines, venues, booking agents, managers, promoters, bands. Supporting progressive change as well, it is the future after all (one would hope!)

💖 What do you think has sparked the re-emergence or increased focus on scenes like Riot Grrrl & queer punk?

Most certainly the political climate, the #metoo movement & social media.

It’s got to a point now where we have had enough, we are fucking angry about it & pussyfooting around people & having polite debate just doesn’t work.

You have collectives such as First Timers, Girls Rock School & Eat Up Collective who are providing the tools & skills to enable us to pick up instruments & express our anger through music & more DIY collectives putting on Riot Grrrl & Queer punk shows. Rage is contagious!

To be fair, I am pretty sure everyone is becoming sick & tired of the same all cis-male mediocre line-ups singing about crazy ex girlfriends & boats & hoes.

To be fair, I am pretty sure everyone is becoming sick & tired of the same all cis-male mediocre line-ups singing about crazy ex girlfriends & boats & hoes.

💖 Do you think without political hardship these scenes would cease to exist?

Sadly, I don’t think I could ever imagine the world without political hardships, as it is all around us & hell! If it ever did, we still have climate change, veganism & debilitating mental health to write & sing about.

💖 What do you think is the future for these bands? What should we be working towards?

I guess it is up to the band & what it is about for them. But if you are wanting to make it big, don’t ever let anyone tell you that there is a ceiling to being a DIY Punk band, much less a queer feminist DIY punk band, which is bullshit – you look at bands like Petrol Girls & Big Joanie who still very much encompass the DIY ethic & are still making it in mainstream radio & media.

Some bands don’t want all that & that’s okay too.

I think the current political climate isn’t going to get better for a while yet, so if you want to get angry, sing about politics, antagonise, then now is the time to do it (unless you want to play Glasto haha).

💖 What’s next for HHNF?

We have a cracking few shows & releases coming up!

Although, apart from the shows already booked, I’m taking a break from booking gigs for a while, just to recoup finances & spoons. This year has been one of the toughest mentally & physically for me, so a mini holiday is much needed!

I need to start booking for next year’s festival at some point also EEK. Bands can apply to hhnffestbandapps@gmail.com.

I will also be planning for First Timers workshops in Manchester in the new year, which will be exciting!

📹 : @fishouttawaterfilms

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