At this point, any music-festival announcement feels like a beautiful sunray of optimism. We don’t know whether we’ll be gathering en masse to witness live music by fall, but we can hope! In any case, the people behind the Fest, the long-running Gainesville punk festival, apparently have hope that it’ll be happening by then. As Brooklyn Vegan points out, they’ve unveiled the lineup for this year’s show, which is scheduled to go down at venues around town on the weekend that spans from 10/30 to 11/1.
I’ve been told again and again that the Fest is a great time. The festivals lean toward the beery, beardy wing of the emo and pop-punk universes, but those lineups also find room for things like metal and hardcore and the acoustic folky projects of guys who used to be in punk bands. There’s stand-up comedy and pro wrestling, and members of bands get together to form one-time-only cover bands. One of these years, I’ve really got to go.
This year’s lineup has four headliners, all of whom are playing big albums in full. Gainseville punk heroes Hot Water Music are the big draws, and they’ll play two sets — one of their classic 2001 album A Flight And A Crash, one made up entirely of fan requests. Emo-adjacent heroes Cursive and Samiam will both celebrate the 20th anniversaries of their best-loved albums, with Cursive doing Domestica and Samiam doing Astray. Meanwhile, Ontario pop-punkers the Flatliners will do a 10th-anniversary set for their album Cavalcade.
The rest of the lineup also features plenty of acts worth seeing, including Gouge Away, Torche, Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Dikembe, Amygdala, Alice Bag Band, Ghouli, Strike Anywhere, Frank Turner, Tim Barry, Good Riddance, Modern Life Is War, and Pool Kids. It does my heart good to see that a band like ’90s rude boys Mustard Plug are still going and are still a big-font name at a festival like this one. This is the initial lineup; more names are coming. You can find out all the details here.