GUIDE & PLAYLIST: Decolonise Fest 2022

Event: Decolonise Fest

Where: Signature Brew Haggerston, London

When: Friday 16th – Sunday 18th September 2022

Tickets: Full Weekend ticket: from £31 / Day tickets: from £15.50 / Click here for info on affordable ticket schemes

General Info: Decolonise Fest – the UK’s only DIY punk festival created by and for people of colour – was founded in 2017 to provide a much-needed space for punks of colour from across the world to come together and celebrate the multiplicity of their identities, and acknowledge the influence people of colour have had on punk and alternative music genres. While the festival focuses on people of colour, white allies are welcome to attend.

Now celebrating its fifth year, Decolonise Fest have put together another eclectic line-up to showcase and celebrate the talent of underground punks of colour. This edition is the festival’s first in-person event since 2019, after it had to adapt to an online event during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival will also feature music-related panels and activities, including workshops on the Black history of the banjo, reproductive justice, how to make your own modular synths, and more. For more information on these events, visit the official website

Who’s Playing: Grove, BISHI, Racehl Aggs, Gurnal Gadafi, Fraulein, Miss Jacqui, Breakup Haircut, Passionflower, Break Fate, Marigold Spitfire, incaseyouleave, Dystopia, Swaraj Chronos, Spirit Sigh and Currls.

Who GIHE recommend you catch: We’re already big fans of grunge duo Fraulein, DIY punks Breakup Haircut, multi-talented musician BISHI, the amazing Rachel Aggs and garage rock trio CURRLS, so make sure you catch their sets. We’ve heard great things about Grove, Miss Jacqui, Spirit Sigh and Dystopia too!

Check out our Decolonise Festival Spotify Playlist below, featuring some of the line-up


Artists not on Spotify also playing Decolonise Fest:

 Gurnal GadafiRachel AggsMarigold Spitfire Spirit Sigh | Swaraj Chronos


Follow Decolonise Fest on TwitterFacebookInstagram




Track Of The Day: Proper. – ‘Huerta’

A punk-infused extrapolation on personal heritage, Brooklyn trio Proper. have shared their latest single ‘Huerta’. Taken from their upcoming album The Great American Novel, which is set for release on 25th March via Big Scary Monsters, the track dives into lead vocalist Erik Garlington’s thoughts about his unexplored Mexican heritage, punctuated by candid lyrics and thumping beats.

Formed of Garlington (vocals/guitar), Natasha Johnson (bass) and Elijah Watson (drums), Proper. have been cutting their teeth on the emo and punk underground circuits in America since 2017. Formerly known as Great Wight, Proper. noticed they were often the only queer people of colour performing in a predominantly white, heterosexual scene, which led to the creation of their new album, The Great American Novel. Described as “a concept album about how Black genius goes ignored, is relentlessly contested, or just gets completely snuffed out before it can flourish,” the record sees the trio resisting the conformity that comes with being taught to ignore your true identity and become “another dull American,” which they lament on latest single ‘Huerta’.

“We’re coming up on our third album and I realized I hadn’t written about my Mexican heritage at all,” Garlington explains. “My grandfather immigrated to the US in the 50s but died before I was born, cutting off the only tie my family has to Mexico. I grew up romanticizing it and it wasn’t until I was older, when my mom and her siblings spoke out about their dad without the filter one uses when speaking around children, that I began to critically examine what heritage and lineage meant. ‘Huerta’ is about looking at the least traveled part of your personality and day dreaming about the possibility.”

Actively evaluating his thoughts about his Mexican heritage throughout the single – “romantacise it to death / just don’t hold your breath” – Garlington and his bandmates offer listeners an insight into what it means to censor or ignore parts of yourself and the impact that can have on your own identity, as well as the wider perception of this identity in predominantly white spaces. “If these audiences are going to be a voyeur to the Black experience, I want them to hear this record and learn about our identity crises,” Garlington continues. Proper.’s unfiltered approach on ‘Huerta’ is a cathartic antidote to this voyeurism.

Listen to ‘Huerta’ below.

Follow Proper. on Apple Music, Spotify, TwitterInstagram

Photo Credit: Milla Belanich

Kate Crudgington