TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — The second annual “Punking in Tents” music festival took place at Florence Motor Speedway over the weekend. Organizers and performers were excited to bring pun rock to the Pee Dee.
“We don’t have this around here,” festival curator Patrick Mahon said. “All these bands want somewhere to play and instead of going to Ohio or Philadelphia or Florida, why not just have it here?” Mahon said he loves punk rock and was disappointed that there weren’t enough places to see bands live. He began organizing concerts.
“Pat came to me years and years ago about just doing simple shows at the house,” Heather Hagood said. Her house was the site of the first “Punking in Tents” in 2020. The event started as a birthday party, but Mahon said it quickly got out of hand when more musicians than planned requested to perform. They decided to do it again this year but with more organization and a larger venue.
“Basically we were in my friend’s backyard last year and now we’re at Florence Motor Speedway, Mahon said. “The plan is to just ramp it up each year and make it bigger, make it better. Make it a fun experience.” The event featured vendors and food trucks. Fans travelled from across the state to spike up their mohawks and put on makeup to enjoy the shows. One band came all the way from Oregon to perform.
“The best part about this is everyone coming together as a big punk rock metal family, just enjoying each other’s time and each other’s music,” Steven “PJ” Jones said. His band, Charleston-based Guardian’s Warlock, was a late addition to festival’s lineup. He and several others initially came to the festival to shoot a documentary after being impressed by the festival’s first iteration.
“This is our culture and this is what we represent,” singer Charlie Smith of Dog Bite said. “I’ve always been like this and this is the way I’m going to be until the day I die.” Mahon said the event was made possible with help from several of his friends. Camping at the track was available for attendees. The festival concludes Sunday evening.