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The Acts You Cannot Miss At Outbreak Fest 2023

Outbreak Fest is back for another year, and it’s bigger and bolder than ever before. Building on the success of last year’s 10th-anniversary event, which saw Knocked Loose, Turnstile and Touché Amoré headline, they’ve moved venues into the centre of Manchester. And the expansion doesn’t stop there, with the line-up now incorporating more than just hardcore’s finest. From hip-hop legends to boundary-destroying artists, it is now a celebration of counter-culture in all its forms.

But with so much going on and so many incredible bands making the trip, it’s hard to know who you should be front and center for. But fear not, as idobi is going to give you a helping hand. Here are the bands that simply cannot afford to miss.


Gel have had a pretty incredible six months. Releasing their new full-length Only Constant to acclaim with the scene and beyond and picking up support slots with legends like Thursday and Municipal Waste pencilled in, it’s going to be a hectic end to the year. So as they roll into Manchester, they will be riding high and in the form of their lives, delivering gritty and garish hardcore punk that rejects the beefed-up jock attitude that it can often be associated with. Prepare for unmatch chaos and plenty of mic grabs.

No Pressure

There’s always a bit of room for pop-punk, isn’t there? Especially when it is being played by a band as essential as No Pressure. Featuring The Story So Far’s Parker Cannon and Light Years’ Pat Kennedy, they deal out huge sing-alongs and nostalgic flourishes aplenty. Think Untitled and Dude Ranch blink-182 shaking hands with Take This To Your Grave Fall Out Boy with some hardcore twangs thrown in, and you are on the right track. Stage dive, high five and have fun. That’s what it’s all about.

Tom The Mail Man

Tom The Mail Man is an artist that demonstrates how the Outbreak net has widened. A merchant of pop-glazed hip-hop, with plenty of hi-hats and heartfelt refrains, his is a laid-back and emotional example of blurring the lines between genres. Recently featuring on Stand Atlantic’s dumb, he has friends and connections in the alternative corner as much as the RnB one, which puts him in good stead at events such as this. Let loose and try something a bit different whilst your bruises heal.


Buggin are everything that hardcore should be. Ravenous, raging and ready to have a laugh. By not taking themselves too seriously, the band are more open to deliver music that is just made for dancing. Take a listen to their newly released full-length Concrete Cowboys, which incorporates all of the franticness of the genre at its best with a tongue-in-cheek edge that is hard to fall head over heels for. Make sure you’re wearing your biggest smile for this one.


Punk still has the ability to feel dangerous, and Spy inhabit that fear perfectly. Existing on the raw and ravenous side of sound, where sensuality and savageness cross paths again and again, they produce blink-and-miss-it bangers that take pleasure in your pain. Their brand new album Satisfaction just dropped and is as decadent and devastating as it comes. So pull on your best leather jacket, grab a chain, and step into battle.

Earl Sweatshirt

A true legend of modern hip-hop is going to be making their debut at Outbreak this year. Earl Sweatshirt came up via the carnage that was Odd Future but in the years that have followed has established himself as one of the most unique and essential voices in alternative hip-hop. Expect woozy beats, stark storytelling and plenty of head-mangling fury from a talent unlike any other.


Fleshwater is the project from Vein.fm’s Anthony DiDio, Jeremy Martin, and Matt Wood alongside Marisa Shirar. Serving as a more glacial vessel than the harsh sounds that their other band produces, they deal out 90s-infused rock by the bucket load, speeding by like cars on the highway. Ethereal one minute, discomforting the next, make sure you are in bright and early on Day One to bare witness to your new favourite band.

Machine Girl

To sum up Machine Girl would be like writing an essay on the meaning of life. There simply aren’t enough words. Dipping their toes into everything from hyper-pop and noise rock to punk and hardstyle, they craft the sort of music that the bowels of hell feel like. Weird, wonderful and unpredictable in every sense, the mayhem translates to their live show in the same manner. So sit back, relax and have you body and soul torn to shreds and rearranged again and again.

High Vis

High Vis have crafted quite a name for themselves over the last couple of years. Taking all the elements that made brit-pop such a sensation in the 90s and blending it with the caustic nature of UKHC, they are the sound of the streets in action. Relatable, riotous and rippling with pride and passion for where they are from and what they have been through, they are as life-affirming as it gets. Pin your heart to your sleeve and scream into the sun, it will do you the world of good.


Hardcore is a gang, and one of the fiercest gangs out there is SPEED. Dealing out concrete riffs and the sort of breakdowns that shatter bones, with an attitude that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of, they are a breath of fresh air in the modern sphere. Unapologetic and united by the sheer love of all of this, theirs is a world that we would all love to live in. So leave inhibitions at the door and pull out your hardest punches. It’s going to be a sweaty one.

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