Festival Review: Punk Island 2018 (New York City)

All Photos courtesy of JeffSchaerMoses.com
Rael Griffin of I Against Eye proved himself to be one of the most dynamic performers at the entire festival.

On Saturday afternoon some of the best purveyors of punk in New York City got together to put on what had to have been one of the best punk festivals in the Big Apple this year. It was free, it was all-day, it was all-ages, and most importantly it was all inclusive. Punks of all shapes, sizes, colors, and gender identities got together to have one hell of a great time in a beautiful New York City Park on Randall’s Island. Check out the full write up and photos below.

One of the only negatives I can point at Punk Island 2018 is that the festival grounds were pretty difficult to find. I looked at both the official Facebook page and website and could not definitively figure out where exactly the show was going on. However, with the help of some accommodating park employees, I eventually found the way.

One of the first and most overwhelming positives of the Punk Island 2018 I noticed was just how many punks of color came out for the event. So often punk shows can turn into monochromatic celebrations of white me. But Punk Island really had the feeling that it was open for everyone and they followed through by creating a space that was welcoming to punks of all colors.

Socks cheering on her festival favorite The Jukebox Romantics.
Nevva playing the Hoosatron stage.
Maata was a whole different monster then the rest of the fest with their Brazilian flavor and percussion section.
Santos of Trashy on the Brooklyn Transcore Stage.

Women, femme’s, trans, and queer people also made their voice amply heard on Punk Island. It was a welcome departure from the typical yelling or immature white man that is so often equated with Punk.

Maata really changed things up in the middle of the day.

Treads frontman Mike Borchardt on the Brooklyn Transcore Stage.
Dirty Bandaid on the Hoosatron Stage.

It was a really diverse event that not only brought in all types of people but it also ran the gamut of all types of music. There was hardcore, pop-punk, emo, there might have even been some doom, sludge, and rock n roll that found it’s way in. The event may have been called Punk Island and it embodied that spirit quite nicely there were still a few other genres.

I Against Eye brought the DC Hardcore to the show and drummer/lead singer Rael Griffin brought a jolt of energy to the crowd.
A uke with a whammy bar, I;ve done seen it all now that I;ve seen Disposable.
Witch Slap on the Hoosatron Stage.
Kate Hoos playing her own stage in what was the final show of Lady Bizness.

Punk Island created the sort of atmosphere that makes you ask, “why can’t every day be like this?” It was an overcast day, not too hot not to cold, and 100 unheralded punk bands gathered in a riverside¬†park to play punk tunes for people who were just excited to hear them. The moshpits were friendly (ish), the bands were inviting, and the day felt good.


A bunch of punks piled into a park and spent the day having fun, listening to music and getting to know one another and sharing ideas on the banks of the East River. If that’s not what punk is all about I don’t know what it is.

Peace out yall.

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