Fest 9 is finally upon us, and as the masses gather in Gainesville for a long weekend of punk rock, booze and trick or treating we’ve thrown one man into the chaos to see he can come back with. That man is Xan – or The Xanimal, as I like to call him, and he’s going to do his best to keep those of us poor saps stuck at home updated on the happenings out there.
His first report is coming a day late, mostly because I’m a slacker, but it’s filled with anticipation as The Xanimal prepares for the trip of his life! Give it a read right here. You got nothing else to do! – Johnny X
Hello dying scenesters!
I am writing this from inside one of Jetblue’s winged tubes. We’re stuck at the gate, and I’m bored as hell. Apparently if the door is shut, using a computer while still on the ground at the gate is against the rules… Who knew?
Why are you on a plane Xan?
I’m going to The Fest 9 in Gansville, Florida!
If you don’t know what The Fest is, you must not visit the site much… The Fest is a yearly 3 day punk rock music festival, and this year, its lucky enough to fall on Halloween weekend. What does that mean? Punk’s dressed up! If you want to know my costume, you’ll have to wait, because I don’t even know what it is yet.
This is the ninth year The Fest has happened, and it only seems to be getting bigger. With over 250 bands and fully booked up Holiday Inn it’s hard to believe a college town like Gainesville can hold so many punks.
We’ve already asked what your favorite bands on the line up are on our Facebook page. A big thanks to all you who already answered, I found some gem’s on that list (a big shout out to Drew, the first person to post, for introducing me to La Dispute.) So far my list for can’t wait to see bands is as follows: Banner Pilot, La Dispute, Me First and The Gimmie Gimmie’s, Strike Anywhere, Blacklist Royals, Captian, We’re Sinking, The Dopamines, a small band from my hometown Nightlights, and many, many more…
I’ve lined up Mixtapes, Heartsounds, A Wilhelm Scream, Hostage Calm and a few others for interviews. Some of those will involve acoustic videos, so get stoked for that.
The part that makes The Fest so exciting is the community it brings together. From what I understand, The Fest has brought so many people that it has sold out Gansville’s Holiday Inn. Enough people are coming that the poolside has been rented to The Fest management for a DJ’s and small bands everyday before the venue shows.
The Fest is devoted to underground punk. The schedule is packed with small bands who spend day in and day out grinding their teeth, van tires and bank accounts for the glory of punk rock. It brings together fans from all over the country to celebrate and enjoy punk rock for what is really is: a grassroots music movement committed to giving everyone a voice, establish a community of like minded individuals, playing raw, fast and aggressive music, all while having fun. The turn out proves that punk rock is still a relevant and popular force in our culture.
Fans and bands are a crucial point of The Fest, but it also brings together PR reps, label heads, management, promoters and journalists together to make sure that the bands who are sweating the most are getting the coverage they deserve. I’m stoked to get introduced and introduce you readers to bands we’ve both probably never heard of.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up at 6:30 am, grab some breakfast, and start the 2 hour drive north towards a swamp. Hopefully I’ll get to write a little bit every night for you guys, but I’m not making any promises. I’m not sure what my nights will look like, or if I’ll even have enough energy to write. I’m really going to try. If I succeed, the nightly updates will include:
Quote of the day
Band of the day
Fan of the day
Quirk of the day
They will also include small show reviews, pictures and maybe an audio file or two.
Well, I’m finally in the air. I guess it’s time to start writing interview questions again. If you’ve read this far, congratulations, you get to help me write questions. If you could ask Banner Pilot, Mixtapes, Heartsounds, Hostage Calm, La Dispute, We Are The Union, The Snips or Nightlights any question, what would it be? If your question is good enough, I’ll ask it to the band and include your name! Sound good? Cool.
Have a great Halloween weekend!