The preeminent punk rock festival, The Fest, is back for a 16th version this fall. Naturally set in the punk hotbed of Gainsville, FL it will take place October 27-29. The venues will be announced later according to the festival website. The headlining acts – Hot Water Music (from Gainsville), Against Me! (also, from Gainsville) and Superchunk (not from Gainesville but from North Carolina) – are just the tip of the loud, fast and hard iceberg that is this seminal Floridian extravaganza.
Also playing this festival is an exciting range of groups that fit under the punk umbrella. There’s more indie-based acts like Beach Slang, Smoking Popes and Rainer Maria (who today are teasing new music, after breaking up over 10 years ago). There are hardcore groups like Snapcase, Iron Reagan, Career Suicide and City of Caterpillar (making all those skramz-worshiping punk kids giddy with a reunion). There are groups in the traditional mold of The Fest acts, like 88 Fingers Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket, Atom and his Package and Off With Their Heads. Also standing out in the lineup is the appearance of Hum, one of the 90s most criminally ignored alternative acts. There’s even Mustard Plug, holding it down for ska fans.
Other reunions sprinkled into the lineup include one of emocore’s early standouts, The Movielife (who paved the way for groups like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday), Majority Rule, Squirtgun and Cadillac Blindside.
Against Me! is not just performing any old set at The Fest this year. No, they will be playing Reinventing Axl Rose, the song that really broke them out and got them signed to Fat Wreck Chords, in full. That album, with its insanely anthemic tracks like “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong,” “Baby, I’m An Anarchist,” “Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious…” and of course the blistering title track, came to define a generation of folk-punk upon its release in 2002. To hear a now-transitioning Laura Jane Grace belt these tunes she wrote as a much younger person (and under a different name, Tom Gabel), will certainly be an exciting trip for long-time fans of the band.
Check the festival’s official website for info on ticket sales.
As part of festivities, Pre-Fest 5 takes place on the nights leading up to the festival, October 25-26 in Little Ybor, FL. Playing this mini-festival are several of the brightest stars from the main lineup. These names include Against Me (who play both nights), Rainer Maria, Beach Slang, Smoking Popes, Teenage Bottlerocket and more.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat