The Fest 9 Gainesville Announces Halloween Weekend Dates, Releases Band Application

Simplicity rules. The Fest, an annual, well, fest in Gainesville, gets away with its bare-bones name because, well, it is THE fest in the Southeast. The yearly three-day shebang is the Sunshine State's ultimate, temporary mecca for all that is sludgy and dirty in metal, hardcore, and punk. 

No, not the whiny, death-metal wannabe crap that passes for those genres these days. The Fest is all about the real deal. The vaguely crusty No Idea Records bands and fans who tend to dominate this thing would melt posers with withering looks of scorn, anyways.

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Last year's edition, for instance, was a crazy smorgasbord that included legends like 7 Seconds, Less Than Jake, and Dillinger Four; legends-in-the-making like Coliseum, Kylesa, Off With Their Heads, A Wilhelm Scream and of course Torche; and promising up-and-comers like Young Widows, Trash Talk, and just about everybody else on the lineup. (Our personal pick for best band name from last year: the Diet Cokeheads.) 

A number of bands represented the 305 as well last year, including (besides Torche) Magrudergrind, Mehkago NT, Maruta, and other bands whose name don't start with "M," like Capsule and Coffin Dancer. And you can now add yourself to the running for this year! 

The Fest just announced this year's dates -- October 29, 30, 31 -- and posted the official band application. Please note, it comes with these caveats:

...please understand that we get a lot of Fest applications every year and can only accept a small number of those bands. Last year we received over 800 applications and we only had room for about 30 of them. We would love to be able to accept more bands but unfortunately, we live in a small town with a limited number of venues and are thus extremely limited to how many bands we can squeeze into a three-day festival....

Lastly, we are going to be cutting down the number of bands on the Fest this year. I know, we said that last year, be we REALLY mean it this year. Who knows how many we'll be cutting and what the final number will be, but right now we're just shooting for "less than last year."

The event has always been carefully curated, so if you've never even heard of most of the past acts, save yourself the trouble -- especially because the application asks for a list of three past Fest alumni bands who will vouch for you. 

If you're totally about the d.i.y. dirtiness, though, rock on. Submitting the application the snail mail way is free; the online version requires a $5 donation to the Harvest of Hope Foundation; and rubbing Dirty Dade style in Alachua County's face is priceless. You have until August 13.  

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