UTG @ The Fest 7!


It is needless to say that a 3-day punk festival on Halloween weekend sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon would yield nothing but fun – but here I am reporting on the shenanigans of the dirty little cousin of Langerado and Bear Creek: Fest 7.


The madness began at registration on Friday the 31st – all bands, press (such as myself) and Fest-goers who ordered tickets for pick up had to flock to the Holiday Inn to get wristbands for admission to the venues. The parking lots and sidewalks were littered with bicycles and tour vans. The first live bands plugged in at 5:30 in the evening, but the performance to kick off my weekend was Strike Anywhere playing at The Venue. The mass inside The Venue was  impenetrably dense and crowd surfers meant trouble. The bands energy set the bar for all other shows during The Fest. 
Saturday afternoon brought a nostalgic show by Atom and His Package, and he hit my favorite tunes “The Metric System Sucks” and “Punk Rock Academy.” Singer turned school teacher Adam Goren’s demeanor was light-hearted as he joked about his age and “bringing it back to 2002”.   
Bridge and Tunnel turned it up at Common Grounds on Saturday night. It was my first live experience with the New York thrashers, and I fell in love with their melodic guitars and full sound. We had reviewed their album East/West here at UTG and ate it up, so when the chance arose to interview the band we were giddy. Be sure to give it a read! 
It was also my first Paul Baribeau experience at the RUB Ampitheater, and it was everything I imagined it would be. The bearded folky guitarist was all smiles as he performed on the UF campus, which he (and I) found ironic, as he is always mentioning dropping out of college in his  lyrics. The singer was adorably awkward while fans came up to him after his set and asked for pictures with him. I managed to snap a few as well! Ghost Mice followed Mr. Baribeau at the RUB. The pair had a great sound that matched the quality you’d hear on a recording. 
Though Off With Their Heads music is not my cup of tea, I must admit I enjoyed their smart-ass stage presence and energetic live show at The Venue. Other mentionable acts include the enthusiastic and undeniably pop-punk Teenage Cool Kids from Texas, Nana Grizol (with former members of Defiance, Ohio), and the sweet indie rock Witches, all at the DIY BYOB venue, The Kickstand. 
With 250 great acts playing at The Fest, the event organizers at No Idea Records aim to provide a non-stop weekend of punk rock insanity. As it is the 7th year Fest has pervaded Gainesville, obviously they’ve got something right. Check out all of our coverage with interviews featuring Suburban Home Recording, Ninja Gun and Kyle William! 

*Written By: Billy Table* 

James Shotwell
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