The Fest 14 (10/30/15-11/2/15, Gainesville FL)Fuck Christmas, Fest really is the most wonderful time of the year. Friends past, present, and future gather in an unassuming Florida college town and rage non-stop for 3 days. My first Fest was last year, and while I had a lot of fun, I knew I could do better. After going hard for 2 days at Pre-Fest, it was time to head north for the main event.
The following is an account of the last 3 days.
Friday morning saw me board the Pork Chop Express bound for Gainesville. Lucky for me I was dead tired still and basically teleported the entire 2 hours (aka I napped, duh). I was staying at The Holiday Inn and sharing my room with Sic Waiting AND D-Cent Jerks, so I knew check in was going to be process. Luckily I got there a little before everyone else and had time to run up to the room and take a shower and shit. I felt brand new. We got everyone checked in and I ran down the street to Mother's Pub for my first dose of Fest punk Rock. OC45 were already playing, and I still have no idea what they sound like. You see the PA decided to stop working and the place was tiny, so all I could really hear were drums and guitar. Thankfully they fixed it before Dead Bars played and I watched them for the second time in 24 hours. I had a good 2 hours to kill, so I ran back to the hotel and took another nap because I'm old and didn't want to get cranky.
Dead Bars, again
After basically laying in a bed for an hour, I headed down to Durty Nelly's. Last year at Fest, I had to wait in a line to get into just about every show I wanted to see. This year, not so much. I got into every venue pretty quick. So I got there a little early and saw a French band called Powernap. Fitting. Dollar Signs played next and were one of my "can't miss bands." Kendra met back up with me before their set, and after we headed to Loosey's to once again see fucking Dead Bars. After that I went to High Dive to meet up with my buddy Ricky and Caskitt and Dudes Night, and I thought to see Cayetana, but it was World's Scariest Police Chases. We ended up just hanging out outside anyways, and I eventually drank someone's spilled beer off the disgusting table because trash lyfe.
I think I have a problem. Dead Bars
Trash! Trash! Trash!
Direct Hit! was the next band on my list to see, so I headed for Boca Fiesta. I ran into Kendra, Jordan, and Alena and was immediately told about the disgusting drink they were offering. They took an Apple Cider, cut a hole in the top of the can, and shoved a mini bottle of Fireball in it. It was terrible. I finished mine and Kendra's. Direct Hit! hit a snag in the middle of their set when a lady got her leg caught between the stage and the crowd and popped her knee out of it's socket. Everyone was cool about it, and the massive crowd parted like the Red Sea so EMT's could come in and do their thing. They ended up finishing their set and Nick Woods was out to go become a father (Congrats!)
I found myself inside Cowboy's watching Off With Their Heads next. I saw the buddies in Success leaving towards the end and ended up going with them to Flaco's to get a burrito. I also ran back into Kendra again who was also getting a burrito and heading back to the Holiday Inn to meet up with some friends. The room party got moved to outside where we drank Malort until it was time to just give up on life and go the fuck to sleep. I went back to my hotel room which was packed full of people, found myself a nice little corner, and fell asleep...
...Until I woke up at 8 am to pee. I was gone 1 minute. 60 fucking seconds. And came back and my spot was taken. OK fine. I had stuff to do anyway. I needed to dye my beard black for my Halloween costume. Turns out, black food coloring is green? I don't what the fuck happened, but it was all wrong. Freaking out a little, I googled the nearest CVS which was a cool 3 mile walk down the road. Thankfully they had temporary black hair dye and my Tim Timebomb costume was a go.
Yea, yea, yea
I hopped in an Uber with Jared and we headed down to Loosey's for Jason Guy Smiley's Pineapple Party. The annual Pineapple Party has grown in size over the years, and this was the biggest yet. A little too big. Kendra showed up and instead of fighting to get in, we just decided to go to Boca Fiesta to get some food. I was told I HAD to try the Gator Burrito, which was OK. Gator really does taste exactly like chicken. Rubbery, rubbery chicken. We still had some time to kill, so we headed for Anthem Tattoo to get our flip-flop tattoo we had been talking about for 3 or 4 months. We could hear Bad Cop/Bad Cop sound checking at Lot 10, so that was cool.
Oh yeah, Kendra was a Lisa Frank Unicorn. Duh.
I missed Devon Kay and the Solutions getting tattooed, but I had time to run to High Dive to see Success. Then it was off to The Midnight to see John from Dead Bars and Nato Coles soothe our shitty souls with acoustic music. We had the brilliant idea since I was dressed as Tim Armstrong to head back across town to see Kill Lincoln's Rancid cover set, but shockingly, the place was at capacity and we were never getting in, so we went to Mother's Pub for a drink instead. Now, they plan Fest weekend every year around the Florida Gators going up to Georgia to play football so all the college kids and bro's are gone. That doesn't mean they all go though. We walked into Mother's and it was 35 TV's playing the game and the place was packed with Gator fans. We might have stuck out a little. But a double whiskey ginger was only $3 so fuck 'em.
John (Dead Bars)
Fuck 'Em All
We hustled back down to Loosey's for a few Dudes Night jams, then over to Rockey's for Too Many Daves, then BACK to Loosey's for Caskitt's awesome set, then to Tall Paul's to see Jabber cover Josie and the Pussycats, then to Durty Nelly's for Sic Waiting. Whew. I think that was the most music I watched in a row all weekend. I rewarded myself with a burrito from Flaco's.
Back to Rockey's I went to after to see the homies Western Settings. I was going to go see The Creeps again after, but instead was sent on a mission to buy wine in anticipation for the Holiday Inn Lobby Acoustic Show that was happening later. And also to go to the hotel room to wash the black out of my beard (Sorry maids, that tub ring was black hair dye, not my filth! OK, so maybe a little filth). I ran into John from Dead Bars again, and he said he was playing in a hotel room, so I followed him to go watch. Then ran down to the lobby to see Dollar Signs, Devin Kay (Dressed as pizza), and Jared play some more acoustic tunes. I was dreading trying to sleep in my overstuffed room, so I hitched a ride to the Paramount with Kendra in some random guy's car to stay in her friends room and see what the pool party was all about. It was mostly Ricky being hammered, Jason Guy Smiley and friends playing Fat band covers, Dylan and Josh swimming, and mosquito bites. So many fucking mosquito bites. Oh, and I was freaking out because I lost my phone. Eventually I turned my OWTH shirt into a pillow and fell asleep.
Dead Bars Hotel Room Acoustic
Dollar Signs Acoustic
Holy Fuck. Last day. OK. You can do this. I woke up at the Paramount pretty early and hopped a shuttle back to the Holiday Inn to find my fucking phone. No way was I going to be able to make it without it. Luckily for me, the guy who drove us to the Paramount had a pretty unmistakable car, and my phone was sitting right on the passenger seat still. I got the front desk to call him, and his buddy came down and got it for me. HERO! Back in action, I met Ricky and Jared at the hotel bar for Bloody Mary's and fries. Kendra eventually showed up and we headed down to Cowboy's to watch Crusades. Western Settings was out on the hunt for mimosa's, and we decided that was a good idea. Unfortunately we couldn't find shit, so we went to The Midnight for some delicious Strawberry Ciders. Jan from The Shell Corporation was playing acoustic up the street, so we watched him, then headed straight back to The Midnight so I could try the Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale I noticed they had earlier. Sounds gross, but it was fucking amazing.
Our For The Love of Punk boss Johnny was playing at The Wooly in The Gamits, so we went there to avoid being labeled "shitty employees." I was heading for the corner liquor store to buy cigarettes when Ricky from Western Settings grabbed me and I followed him to a hotel room to shotgun a couple beers shirtless with about 10 other dudes for the FTLP Instagram. After I went back to the store again and got my cigarettes, I headed for the Palomino to watch City Mouse slay, then to Rockey's for D-Cent Jerks. I was heading to Dirty Nelly's to see Two Cow Garage when I ran into Stacey Dee from Bad Cop and ended up hanging out in the street talking to her instead. Eventually I made it to Durty Nelly's to see what I thought was going to be Arliss Nancy, but was Black List Royals, so I left to Boca Fiesta to find Kendra and watch the last few songs of Jabber. She was with Jan, and we went and tried to get into to see Arliss Nancy. but there was a line, so we ate Flaco's instead.
After my 3rd Flaco's burrito for the weekend, we headed back to Loosey's. France's Guerilla Poubelle were playing, followed by the last band of the weekend, FUCK! (It's Pronounced Shit!). After we said our goodbye's to people, we took our last walk to the Holiday Inn for the pain in the ass to get into After Party, took a couple of photo booth pictures, wandered around for a while, then went to Ricky's empty room to pass the fuck out.
FUCK! (It's Pronounced Shit!)
My Whole Crews Ugly
The next day I woke up, packed, and slept on all the transportation's home. The Marathon was over, and although I lost control of my body at the finish line, managed to crawl across.
And that was that, I took a couple days off work to see if I was going to come down with the FestAIDS, but it never happened. Thank god. That shit sucks. But, Fest weekend is the best weekend, and after 2 years of going, I am super excited to use my knowledge to take it to the next level at Fest 15.
This weekend should be interesting:
Friday November 13th: Swinging Utters, Success, The Bombpops, Beach Slang @ The Hideout (San Diego)
Saturday November 14th: Modern Baseball, Jeff Rosenstock, Pup, Tiny Moving Parts @ The Lampost (San Diego)
Sunday November 15th: Lagwagon, PEARS, Runaway Kid @ The Troubador (L.A.)
Go support your scene, c u in da pit.