The Fest 17: Thoughts On The Initial Lineup, Favorite Memories & More Pt. 2

By: Charlie Daffron

I first discovered Fest when I was in middle school (so it was probably around Fest 9 or 10). I quickly noticed that as I got more into punk, more and more of my favorite bands started to show up on the Fest lineups. I used to beg my parents to go every year, maybe just to one venue for one day and come back home since Gainesville was about a two-and-a-half hour drive from our house, but I was always vetoed. As soon as I decided I was going to UF my senior year in high school, I was already counting down my days to Fest. I remember when the first lineup dropped in April of that year (It was Fest 15), I was at a track meet about to run my last event for the day and I was on my phone obsessively refreshing the Fest page waiting to finally see the lineup for my first Fest. When it finally dropped I was unbelievably excited to see so many bands I loved on the lineup!

Flash forward 6 months to October, I waiting in line outside 8 Seconds (I guess it was technically still Cowboys at the time). I’m a little nervous, I’ve never been to a concert before and I’m not sure what to expect. The band I’m waiting in line to see is PEARS. When I finally get in I can see them setting up on stage. I casually make my way through the already gathering crowd to get closer to the stage. When the band starts, so does the pit. So that night I simultaneously had my first concert experience and my first mosh pit experience (talk about killing two birds with one stone), and I absolutely loved it!
I’ll save some of my other Fest stories for the next part of this article series, but I’ll leave you with this: Because of my experiences at the two Fests that I’ve been to, and the people that come to Fest (whether I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them or not), I will always come back. I wouldn’t miss this weekend for the world! Going into Fest that first time, I only knew one other person who would be there, since then I’ve met so many others, including some of my favorite people in the whole world. Because of them I always have something to consistently look forward to every year. Fest isn’t just a music festival, it’s one big, sweaty, drunk, and extremely happy family and I can’t wait until this year’s family reunion!

You can read about fellow Festers favorite memories, bands and more below:


Andrew Martin

1) Where are you from?  

Connecticut!

2) Have you Fested before and if so, how many Fests have you been to?

I have been at every fest since The Fest 13.

3) What band (or bands) are you most excited to see this year?

This year I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of new stuff I haven’t seen before like Audio Karate or Tsunami Bomb!

4) Why do you Fest?

At this point Fest is so much more than a music festival. It’s a family reunion! It’s the one time of year I get to see all my Fest friends and international friends all in the same place! Meeting up with them is almost more exciting than the shows themselves for me at least. if it weren’t for the people I’m not sure Fest would be as important to me as it has become.

5) What is your favorite Fest memory?

There are so many awesome Fest memories but the one that really sticks with me the most is definitely Masked Intruder playing at Crowbar at Pre-Fest 4 (I think it was 4 anyways) and some friends lifted me up to crowd surf and the crowd wouldn’t put me back down until about 2 whole songs later. I’m not sure how I didn’t get into the video, but I was up there a long time.

6) What band (or bands) are you hoping to see on the second half of the lineup announcement?

311! But for real I’m hoping to see the Lawrence Arms, Bouncing Souls, and either Underground Railroad to Candyland or Toys That Kill (or both).


Karlee

1) Where are you from?  

New Jersey!

2) Have you Fested before and if so, how many Fests have you been to?

I have, but I’ve only been to one, FEST 14. I got really sick and missed out on most of Saturday, but I still dragged myself out to see a couple bands and had an awesome time.

3) What band (or bands) are you most excited to see this year?

So far? Audio Karate and Cursive, hands down. Last time I saw Cursive I was like 17, and I think I’m overdue now that it’s almost 10 years later. I used to randomly tweet at Audio Karate (despite the fact they’ve technically been defunct since the early 2000s) about doing a reunion like a dweeb and they’d always reply cryptically like, “working on something” and “keep your eyes peeled.” Can’t believe it’s finally happening and I can’t believe I’m going! RVIVR is also high on my list, and so are Gouge Away and Torche. It’s only the first announcement and there are already a ton of bands that I’m hoping to see.

4) Why do you Fest?

I Fest because it’s fun! I’m back in college now and I take 18 credits every semester which can get stressful, and Fest is like spring break…but for the fall semester. It’s usually cold out here by Halloween, so I jumped at the chance to discover new bands between sets of my old favorites, drink beer, and wear shorts for the last time before I pack them away for another northeast winter. It’s an environment that’s totally different from any other music festival I’ve been to, it feels like everyone’s an old friend (even when they’re not!) and the vibe is overwhelmingly positive. Even though I’ve only been once, I’ve kept in contact many of the friends I made there, and I don’t think I can say that for any other music festival. I’m super stoked to see friends that I haven’t seen in years and pick up right where we left off…and to try Malort.

5) What is your favorite Fest memory?

This one’s hard. I think seeing Mikey Erg at the Civic Media Center and being front and center number one, though. I definitely cried and sang a lot. There were random beach balls flying around a cramped space and my makeup was running by the time I ran off to catch the next set I wanted to be at, but it was so worth it.

6) What band (or bands) are you hoping to see on the second half of the lineup announcement?

Crossing my fingers for Mikey Erg/The Ergs for sure, Off With Their Heads, and maybe even The Get Up Kids. Last one might be a long shot, but a girl can hope.

Caleb Coffey

1) Where are you from?  

Hickory, NC

2) Have you Fested before and if so, how many Fests have you been to?

Yes! Since Fest 8.

3) What band (or bands) are you most excited to see this year?

Iron Chic and Direct Hit! For like the 80th time.

4) Why do you Fest?

I Fest for the friends and seeing all these bands I love conveniently in one area. Also, because it always happens on my birthday (28th).

5) What is your favorite Fest memory?

I turned 21 on the first day of Fest 10 and ran into Garrett Dale of Red City Radio at the Kangaroo next to the Holiday Inn. I mentioned how big a fan I was, and he invited me to join him at the pool party. On the way, he found out I’m 21 and proceeded to get me absolutely shitfaced and introduce me to all the bands I love as his dearest friend, and they gave me drinks and shots of whatever they were drinking. It was wonderful.

6) What band (or bands) are you hoping to see on the second half of the lineup announcement?

I know I’m asking a bunch, but Jawbreaker reuniting and playing Fest would be the most appropriate setting for them to play. I don’t think it would ever happen, but holy moly that would be amazing. Also, Old Flings reuniting would be wonderful. Favorite band from NC who split apart a couple years ago at Fest.


Jason Saint

1) Where are you from?  

Louisville, Kentucky

2) Have you Fested before and if so, how many Fests have you been to?

Yes! This year’s Fest will be my third.

3) What band (or bands) are you most excited to see this year?

I’m STOKED to see Lagwagon (it’ll be my second time this year) as well as Days N Daze, Partner, The Stereo, Red City Radio, Rozwell Kid, and of course, Piebald! Among MANY others.

4) Why do you Fest?

The environment! It’s so cool to be surrounded by awesome people that you see at nearly every show, and to hang out with so many people who love the same kind of music that I do. It’s refreshing and so much fun. You get to find so many new bands and learn about even more from just talking to people. I’ve made lifelong friends at Fest. It’s my favorite part of the year, it’s like my Christmas!

5) What is your favorite Fest memory?

I was watching Anika Pyle’s solo set and my girlfriend pointed out to me that Greg from The Menzingers was standing next to me. I’m not one for fanboying but I certainly did then!

6) What band (or bands) are you hoping to see on the second half of the lineup announcement?

My favorite band of all-time is The Bouncing Souls, so it’d be great to see them added. Beyond them, more ska bands would be great!

Kayla Greet

1) Where are you from?  

Seattle, WA

2) Have you Fested before and if so, how many Fests have you been to?

Yes, only once and it was last year.

3) What band (or bands) are you most excited to see this year?

Crusades. I’ve loved them for so many years and never seen them cuz they rarely, if ever, come out to the West Coast. Now Fest 17 will be their last two shows after 10 years as a band and I want to be there. Tsunami Bomb was another exciting announcement for me, but I’ve seen them about 16 times over the years. Then there’s bands I’ve only seen once like Cursive and want to catch again. Or bands I’ve seen a ton like RVIVR, Night Birds, or Western Settings that I’ll never get sick of watching.

4) Why do you Fest?

I Fest because it’s the happiest break from reality. Typically, I shy away from large crowds and hate festivals who gouge attendees for basic things like water. For example, Warped Tour charged $5 a bottle and won’t even let you keep the cap which makes it impossible to carry in a bag meaning you’re more likely to buy another. Fest creates a safe and affordable environment full of strangers who quickly become your new best friends. And they curate some of the best bands in punk.

5) What is your favorite Fest memory?

There’s a new favorite Fest memory every day. One of the best moments from last year was just hanging out at the local barcade, getting to talk to so many musicians that I love while Mikey Erg was DJing upstairs. Or walking to see a band and discovering an amazing new one just on the way to a venue. Or watching Pegboy from the side of the stage with friends while Ray Rocket was behind us singing along to every word. The musicians are so accessible and cool to chat with people attending, and it’s one of the only festivals where you’ll see a hero of yours captivated by a hero of theirs up on stage. It’s a true community.

6) What band (or bands) are you hoping to see on the second half of the lineup announcement?

Hoping to see Hot Snakes show up on the second announcement. Camp Cope, Hop Along, Spells, The Pathogens, The Bollweevils, Gateway District, or Martha would all make me so stoked. A lot of people are holding out hope for Jawbreaker, but I don’t know if I could deal with how amazing that would be!

fest-17


Tune in next week for the final part in our Fest series! You can buy tickets and view the full lineup here.

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