All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Rolling Thunder Festival 2016

Rolling Thunder And Pouring Rain!

The Rolling Thunder Festival has come and gone and experiencing a lot of it from the ground up, it appears the event was a total success.

Featuring a plethora of artists from various genres such as Stoner, Doom, Punk and a little bit of Hardcore – the exciting bill featured artists such as American Sharks, Beastwars, Clowns, Radio Moscow, The Sword, Holy Serpent, Kings Destroy, Warped, Wolfpack, Los Hombres Del Diablo etc.

An bill peppered with international and local acts that combined, simply tore up the place.

The event did feature some teething problems as the original venue of choice was not able to be used so the Coburg Town Hall became the venue of choice.

To be perfectly honest, I thought the venue worked a treat! With food stalls outside, a fantastic outdoor ‘beer garden’ if you will, vendors selling records, dvds and other assorted merch. Incredibly well-behaved security who didn’t really rear their heads until Clowns shook things up a little. A photo exhibition in the foyer featuring yours truly and two other accomplished Melbourne photogs in Stephen Boxshall and Jay Hines and it all made for a very festival-like atmosphere.

Some of my photos on display

Stand out bands for mine were the aforementioned Clowns who seem to be growing in leaps and bounds with every performance I see of them. These guys WILL be the next big thing to come out of Australia I can assure you.

I enjoyed Wolfpack’s set which was energetic, catchy, vibrant and full of Punk Rock charm as well as the American Sharks who simply pounded the place into oblivion.

Seasoned Rockers like Warped, Los Hombres Del Diablo brought the Rock whilst Radio Moscow proved to be one of the most popular bands of the day managing to fill the auditorium when they played.

As stated, Clowns blew me away. Afforded the luxury of a bigger stage, they tore the place to smithereens with high-octane Punk/Hardcore tunes. They look the part! They command the stage! The crowd loves them. They deliver the goods!

New Zealand’s Beastwars held their own with their unique delivery and ferociously brutal poundage.

Photographically, I had AAA to the entire venue but with Sword’s insistence they practically play in total darkness, I did not come away with one salvageable photo of them. So disappointed to have been there for a 12 hour day and not being able to photograph them on any level.

I hope this event continues! Promoter Heathen Skulls are certainly onto a winner here and I hope this festival continues in one way or another.

It damn well deserves too!

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