The Fest in Gainesville is one of — if not the — most anticipated annual festivals for the underground bands across the scene. This is a place where DIY takes to the streets of Florida for a three day, massive music festival. We’ve compiled a list of 30 bands that readers attending Fest 15 should actively watch play.
Alaska: Sunday October 30th – Palomino @ 6:30 p.m.
Math rock blended with emo to perfection, this band is incredible at making complex music sound effortless and natural. Their set always stuns viewers mainly because each member is playing extremely intricate pieces, it’s impressive.
Annabel: Friday October 28th – Rockey’s Piano Bar @ 1:00 a.m.
Crushing builds, intense moments and heart piercing lyrics help solidify Annabel as one band to see, closing out the first day to an awesome three day weekend.
Big Eyes: Sunday October 30th – High Dive @ 8:50 p.m.
Reenergized and ready to strike crowds with their new sense of vision, Big Eyes combine pop, garage rock and punk into massive songs full of catchy hooks to rock out to.
Captain We’re Sinking: Friday October 28th – The Wooly @ 7:50 p.m.
Captain We’re Sinking take the idea of having cathartic music and staple it to their hearts, using their gritty punk and booming voices to make emotionally gut wrenching songs. Do not, miss, this, band.
Caskitt: Sunday October 30th – Market Street Pub @ 9:30 p.m.
Punk mixed with raw energy charging into blistering tunes full of feet stomping drum beats and catchy as fuck lyrics. This band is also performing an AFI cover set on Saturday at Tall Paul’s at 11:20. Be there.
Chris Farren: Saturday October 29th – Civic Media Center @ 10:10 p.m.
For a debut, Chris Farren’s Can’t Die is a smart, talented look at how to make music that has fun and tells a story at the same time.
DFMK: Sunday October 30th – Loosey’s @ 12:00 p.m.
Purebred punk attitude? Check. Cultured and ready to make you move? Check. There’s no reason not to check out DFMK early on Sunday.
Dikembe: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 9:40 p.m.
Reviving in the D.I.Y. scene, Dikembe are back with Hail Something and has to be the band’s best work, full of variety but still knowing how to pack a bunch.
Dillinger Four: Saturday October 29th – Bo Diddley Plaza @ 8:30 p.m.
I mean, how can you not want to catch a legendary punk band like Dillinger Four? It’s just smart festival attending.
Dowsing: Sunday October 30th – Boca Fiesta @ 9:30 p.m.
Dowsing’s newest release is a self-aware monster ready to perform for you. Remind them that punk is not dead.
Frameworks: Sunday October 30th – The Wooly @ 2:20 p.m.
Smother is the essential screamo album of this year, with driving beats and ear shattering compositions. Start your Sunday off early with a pure adrenaline rush by seeing this Florida act.
Henrietta: Sunday October 30th – Rockey’s Piano Bar @ 5:50 p.m.
Another Florida band, Henrietta offer songs packed with ear gripping melodies, roaming drum patterns and emotions drenched into each orchestration.
Hodera: Sunday October 30th – Durty Nelly’s @ 3:00 p.m.
Hodera hail from New Jersey and bring with them passionate songs with downright poetic lyrics. It’s easy for a song to be stuck in your head for days after hearing it.
Less Than Jake: Sunday October 30th – Bo Diddley Plaza @ 8:30 p.m.
The local Gainesville act is ready to showcase just how great their legacy is by performing at one of the later slots of the whole festival.
Look Mexico: Sunday October 30th – Rockey’s Piano Bar @ 9:10 p.m.
Look Mexico has been one of the forerunners of mathy, twinkly rock for quite some time now. Uniola only showcases their prowess at remaining at the top with bursting melodies and complex rhythm structures.
The Menzingers: Saturday October 29th – Bo Diddley Plaza @ 6:00 p.m.
While still waiting for this legendary band to release their newest record, make sure to catch them live because it will be one of the best shows to witness there.
Microwave: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 1:50 p.m.
Fresh off the press is Microwave’s With Love, and ready to make the stage even more fresh are the new songs to be heard live.
Museum Mouth: Sunday October 30th – Durty Nelly’s @ 7:10 p.m.
Museum Mouth’s rough around the edges garage punk are full of gritty anthems mixed with hope, darkness and Karl Kuehn. It’s perfect all around. I mean, they named their last record Popcorn Fish Guinea Pig and that rips harder than most other records on here.
Pears: Friday October 28th – Cowboys @ 7:50 p.m.
PEARS are having themselves a moment currently, and rightfully so. The band’s live act is acclaimed to be an absolute blast of energy, making them a must see at Fest.
Prawn: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 7:40 p.m.
Having seen this band three times this year already, it is safe to say that regardless of how many times I hear songs off of Kingfisher or Settled, I am always blown away.
Propagandhi: Friday October 28th – Bo Diddley Plaza @ 9:00 p.m.
Talk about a band that has made a name for themselves in the realm of the punk world. Propagandhi deserve your attention as they help close out the first day of Fest.
PUP: Sunday October 30th – Bo Diddley Plaza @ 5:30 p.m.
Rightfully releasing two records that have achieved massive acclaim statuses, PUP will bear their teeth and take their live performance of The Dream Is Over to new heights. This set will be packed to the brim with energy.
Ratboys: Sunday October 30th – Palomino @ 3:10 p.m.
Charming music, incredible atmosphere and biting lyrics make Ratboys an exciting must see this year at Fest.
Rozwell Kid: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 4:40 p.m.
Guitar heavy riffage will be heard at Rozwell Kid’s set. This is without a doubt one of the best rock bands at the Fest, don’t miss it.
Signals Midwest: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 8:40 p.m.
Fresh with a new release about finding purpose in art, make sure to show your support to a band ready to take to the stage and show you their art.
Sinai Vessel: Friday October 28th – Rockey’s Piano Bar @ 8:00 p.m.
FINALLY. Sinai Vessel’s new record has been announced for an early 2017 release, now go see them play songs live at Fest, okay?
Slingshot Dakota: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 5:40 p.m.
One of the most interesting bands sonically, Slingshot Dakota is worth seeing just because their energy is poured out through unique pedals and synths. It’s going to be a sonic euphoria.
Vasudeva: Sunday October 30th – Durty Nelly’s @ 3:50 p.m.
Oh Vasudeva. Their instrumentals make you melt because they are rich and astoundingly beautiful. It’s like a painting but audible.
Western Settings: Saturday October 28th – High Dive @ 8:10 p.m.
Western Settings pack a gritty punk sound to extremely catchy songs. This is a band to check out live as soon as possible, or at Fest.
You Blew It!: Saturday October 29th – Cowboys @ 10:40 p.m.
Preparing to release their best material yet, You Blew It! are one of the final acts to an insane Saturday lineup at Cowboys. Stick it out and watch this band amaze.