So basically this is just my personal recap of what I did on Fest 10, Day 1. It's not a review or anything - that's not what this weekend is about, really. This is just what I did on a (tired and hungover) Day 1.
Fest 10, Day 1
The beginning of The Fest is probably unlike anything most people will experience in their whole life. The not-so-big town of Gainesville begins getting filled to its brim with people of all different kinds, from all over the world. Whatís the common ground? Well, you could say tattoo sleeves, PBR koozies and Descendents t-shirts, but in a more broad sense I guess itís punk rock. Fest registration is one of the most peaceful, positive and cheerful events of the year, anywhere.
Friends meet up with old friends that they havenít seen since last Fest. People meet up with people they met a few Fests ago that they havenít talked to since then. And yesterday, an insanely long line wrapped up from the Holiday Innís conference room (aka Fest HQ), down the hotelís stairs, through the parking lot, out onto the sidewalk, down a block and a half, made a left and went a few blocks down that street. And no one cared. At one point, I met people who had been in line for four hours. They were smiling, drinking and talking to new friends from out of the country. In a statistic that made 60 percent of Fest-goers chuckle to themselves, exactly 666 people from outside of the United States bought a weekend pass.
My first day of Fest was pretty heavily dependent on Paper + Plastick related work for the first few hours. We set up a table in the Holiday Inn conference room, selling records and toys to Festers as they passed us in line or walked around the Fest Flea Market. It was a grand time, and it was awesome to meet kids from all over the world who would walk up to the table and thank us for what we do, telling me they own a huge part of our discography. We tabled from noon till about 6, before bands were starting to play. I took my time and missed Small Brown Bike, but went to see Tigers Jaw for my first Fest set of the weekend.
The Scranton, Penn., natives were way more tight on stage for Fest 10 than they were the only other time Iíve seen them Ė a few months ago at Pembroke Pinesí Talent Farm. They were loud, they were compact, and they got kids excited for the weekend, especially on ďSpirit DesireĒ and ďI Saw Water.Ē I walked next door to check out the last 15 minutes of Samiamís set, but the Florida Theater of Gainesville (better known by its previous name as The Venue) was more packed than Iíve ever seen it before. The heat in that enormous place was almost unbearable, and I made the regrettable decision to forego the rest of the sets there for the night. This meant I missed Kid Dynamite, Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music Ė three of the most anticipated bands, but I was already too tired and dehydrated to deal with that crowd.
After eating a gyro and getting sick, I decided I had to take it easy for the night. The day before Fest 10 was my 21st birthday, so a lot of inactivity on Fest Day 1 had a lot to do with too much activity the day before. Not complaining, though. I did manage to find my way to 1982 Bar for Algernon Cadwalladerís ďmystery set,Ē which was an absolutely mind-blowing performance. The band, playing to a much smaller crowd than usual (which is the point of the mystery sets), put on an incredible set filled with crowd surfing in the way-too-small bar. Algernon is truly one of those bands that sounds good on the record, but infinitely better in a live setting. I relaxed and recuperated following that set, choosing to miss some action on Friday in the hope that Iíd feel better enough to go full-Fest on Saturday and Sunday. Spoiler alert: This was a good decision and I feel fully rested this morning.
However, I did manage to sneak my way over to the CMC to watch my friends in Make Do and Mend play an acoustic set. This was appropriate, as their Part and Parcel EP is set to drop soon. They played most of the songs from that EP, including the Touche Amore cover and the new song, a sad story called ďUntitled.Ē It made me even more excited for their set today.
So, now Iím going to take a nap for an hour then get my Fest Day 2 started. Iím looking forward to a full day on a whopping six hours of rest (roughly three more hours than I had yesterday, which is worth noting!) and Iím going to start it off with The Menzingers acoustic set. I know tomorrow's recap will feature three times as many bands as this one did. Cheers to all!