I totally agree, I wish this was a wider variety of bands and genres. There's always a couple of bands playing Rainfest that make me want to go, but not if I have to sit through a few hours of generic hardcore bullshit, and certainly not enough to buy a full weekend pass. That was part of my problem with Sound Fest, there weren't enough bands of interest for me to buy a weekend pass (the other major problem was how spread out the venues were). And the one venue I did go to during Sound Fest didn't even charge me at the door. That whole thing was just a huge clusterfuck.
The thing is, we have many small pop-punk bands here, enough to certainly put on a festival, but I doubt local bands alone would draw enough to sell out even a place like Neumos (especially when the bulk of these bands play The Kraken on a near-monthly basis). Hell, most of those shows at The Kraken aren't even full. We were a city that was skipped over for a long time by smaller bands who couldn't justify visiting our little corner of the country, but we're starting to get more and more of those tours rolling through, even if they're just playing The Kraken or the Black Lodge. Hopefully we can one day have a festival of our own that'll draw some noteworthy out-of-towners, as our scene is pretty god damn awesome.
(oh hey its Tony! Didn't realize you posted here too! (this is Drew))
Yeah, Sound Fest suffered from a less than stellar lineup, being too spread out, nobody showing up, and then of course the issues with the promoters not paying anyone. It was something where everything need to go right, and instead everything went wrong.
For a punkish festival to work here it probably has to be the one venue kind of approach that Rainfest does. Also location certainly doesn't help. Stay Sweet works because of the plethora of good bands based in places like Richmond, Philly, New York and Ohio. Seattle has some good local bands, but not really anyone that would draw in a lot of people from out of town which is part of what you need to make festivals work.
Of course, I probably shouldn't be complaining about the quality of the scene here though given I'm terrible at actually making it out to the smaller shows at places like the Kraken...