Belfast Punk - Warzone Centre 1997-2003
The 'Warzone Collective' began in 1984 in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland when a few local punks decided to consolidate their efforts and get their own venue, practice & social space. In 1986 the Collective opened its first premises in Belfast called 'Giros'. It provided a vegetarian cafe, practice space, screen printing facilities, etc. Over time the space soon became a focal point for anarchists, punks & other forward thinking individuals. In 1991 the Collective moved to a larger and more ambitious venue, which is where all of the photographs in this book were taken. Over the years thousands of people passed through Giros' doors and were exposed to some amazing bands, and new ideas. A strong D.I.Y. ethic defined the way gigs and events were organized. Over time, a recording studio, screen printing & photographic dark room facilities were set up, along with a vegetarian cafe. It didn't have an alcohol license - Giros was an all ages venue. The 'Warzone Centre' or 'The Centre' as it was called by some, became the counter-cultural alternative hub for the greater Belfast area and beyond. Bands from all over the world came here to play. It soon became infamous as being one of the most credible venues in Europe for D.I.Y. punk. The photographs in this book were taken sporadically over the years somewhere between 1997 - 2003. A small window of time considering the Warzone Collective opened its first venue in 1986. Towards the end of 2003 the Centre closed for a number of different reasons, leaving a huge gap in radical Belfast culture. In 2011, the Warzone Centre reopened after an 8 year hiatus, in a different venue on the opposite side of town. It is still going strong today.