The Fest announced their upcoming show, which is scheduled to take place on October 30 through November 1, 2020. The Fest is an annual music festival in Gainesville, Florida, organized by Tony Weinbender, formerly of No Idea Records. It is a predominantly punk rock and pop-punk festival, with a good number of indie rock, hardcore punk, metal, and ska acts. The first show took place on May 24-25, 2002 and has since attracted a large turnout through the years. Roughly 4,000 people attend the festival and bands perform across a variety of venues (varying from small bars to large concert halls) in the downtown Gainesville area.
The Fest takes place each year on the weekend of the Florida-Georgia football game (around Halloween), held in Jacksonville. The announcement from The Fest website states, “We hope all of our friends around the world are safe and well. We all know that these are strange times as everyone has altered how they live their lives. We here at Fest wanted to give you a little light at the end of the tunnel.”
An article from The Gainesville Sun shared, “Fest has become an influential punk music festival and historically has drawn attendees from Japan, Germany and other faraway lands. It’s has been featured on fuse’s “22 Best Music Festivals of 2015” and it was the subject of an Alternative Press documentary series called “No Sleep ’til Gainesville.”
Tom May, singer and guitarist for The Menzingers, said when the band first started, Fest was their mecca. “We heard stories of people who went before us and we thought, ‘We’ve got to go,’” he said. “It sounded like an epic conference for s—- punks.” May said Fest turn his and many other bands into what they are today. The Menzingers met their record label at Fest; they became friends with bands they would later tour with at Fest. “I’m 30 now so I started playing Fest when I was 20,” he said. “It curated my entire adult life.”
Dozens of bands are scheduled to play the festival including, A Wilhelm Scream, Modern Life is War, Sparta, Hot Water Music, The Appleseed Cast, Cursive, The Flatliners, Frank Turner, Good Riddance, Mustard Plug, Red City Radio, Samiam, Strike Anywhere and many more. Modern Life is War is from Marshalltown, Iowa and consists of members Jeffrey Eaton (vocals), John Paul Eich (guitar), Matt Hoffman (guitar), Chris Honeck (bass), and Luke Rauch (drums). Despite their brief breakup in 2008, the band has managed to maintain their dedicated fanbase and eventually went on a nine date tour in 2016. Tickets for Fest 19 cost $180.00 and gets you a 3-day pass, with access to all the shows from October 30 through November 1, 2020.
Photo Credit: Marv Watson