The Fest

Visit The Fest's Website

The Fest is an annual music festival hosted by No Idea Records, a local record label, in Gainesville, Fla. The event takes place on the weekend of the Florida-Georgia football game in nearby Jacksonville, so the town is usually reserved for Fest attendees. The shows usually happen in as many as 12 venues, ranging from small bars to bigger concert halls, and attendees can choose which ones to see at set times. The Fest is also famous for booking the entire Holiday Inn near the University of Florida over that weekend, solely for the use of bands and attendees. It's known as The Fest Headquarters.

While the festival usually features punk bands, there are also plenty of indie and country acts, and even some metal bands. Hundreds (literally hundreds!) of acts are booked for The Fest. In fact, there's such a rush of bands and concert-goers in Gainesville for that weekend that The Fest is known locally as "The Infestation."

Less Than Jake performing "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" at The Fest 10 in Gainesville, FL. Warning: Brief expletive content.

Local Acts Encouraged

The Fest is known for it's focus on independent bands. Most of the acts are from the surrounding areas and aren't signed to any labels. The Fest is a great opportunity to break into the music industry. Usually, bands can fill out an online registration form. From there, around 300 acts are chosen (so there's a pretty good chance of being selected.)

Click here to Register.

(Registration forms aren't available all year- only around the time of The Fest.)

**Joe Lo, the lead singer of local bands Of Valleys and T13C, recommends attending The Fest even if you're not quite ready to perform there. He thinks it's a great experience and a good way to network with the organizers of the event. He said they're always milling around and willing to talk to attendees.