Features Music The Fest That Never Was

Music: The Fest That Never Was

19 Things We Miss About The Fest

2020 has been hard. You’ve all read that a million times. But you’ve lived it too.

In most years, for many of us, The Fest offers an outlet to get away from those doldrums. But a socially distant Fest is simply inconceivable. The Fest 19 was originally scheduled to take place in Gainesville, FL this weekend. It’s been pushed back to October 29-31, 2021.

Delayed isn’t dead, of course. Check out The Fest That Never Was, a livestream event this Saturday Oct. 31, with dozens of bands an more than 11 hours of music and madness.

We may not have live, sweaty bars right now. But we’ve always got nostalgia. This year Scene Point Blank touched base with 19 Fest vets. We asked for favorite Fest memories, what they like to do in Gainesville, and how they’re dealing with the pandemic.

We asked 19 artists similar but different questions. Then we randomly put them in order below. Then we realized we counted wrong and it’s actually 20.



Similar to the "describe your perfect Sunday" cliché, what would you do on a perfect Fest day? Besides specific bands, what venues, restaurants, or other stops would you visit?

A perfect Fest day for us would be for the spry members of SPELLS to crawl out of bed and head down to the pool at the Wyndham Gardens while any stragglers knock out the cobwebs from the night before. We're pretty sure Duke would be up before everyone doing his daily meditation or on some sort of run. BORING! Most of us would then head down to Maude's Cafe for some coffee so we could function and make our plan of attack for the upcoming day. After a few mug mug mugs, Charlie and Bohner would most likely head over to Hear Again Records look for old Discount or My Pal Trigger records for the collection.

If we aren't playing that night, we would most likely text a few of our non-Denver-dwelling pals to see what they were up to. Fest is a great chance to see amazing friends from all over the US (and the rest of the world!) and catch up on what all we've been doing. It's also a good way to find out what bands we should be checking out that might not be on our collective radars. Seeing headliners is fun, but it's even better to go check out the bands you heard about from a friend (or friend-of-a-friend) that might not be as well known... yet. Before you know it, you're at the High Dive at 3pm having your world rocked by some rad band you've never heard of. Yes, I'll take all the records, please! Also, come to Denver, we got you!

As the night draws on, we'll reconvene with some more buddies at Boca Fiesta or some random venue to catch some of our favorite bands. As with most festivals, it's hard to see everyone as they are all usually playing at the same time, so it's fun when SPELLS meets up in the middle of the street to compare notes on what bands we just saw. Of course, we will most likely get sidetracked by seeing old pals, and catching up will result in missing a few big acts from time to time. But ya know, friends)

As the night (morning) comes to a close, we will all most likely make our way to the hotel and order pizza to eat by the pool and drink beers ‘til one of us says something inappropriate and has to be excused from the grown-up table. At that point, Little Stevie Shithead likes to tuck us all into our beds and kisses us on the forehead before he heads to the executive suite. He's got points to spare.

Murder By Death

Adam Turla – guitar/vocals

Are you writing more, or less, music during this year of isolation?

I have pushed back writing a new album, so I'm writing less music, because I decided to take a much needed break. That being said, we recorded a Christmas album, with a couple originals, standards and covers, and that was a fun project that we have always wanted to do, but never would have been able to get around to with our normal schedules. We also launched a Patreon which is basically turning into a multimedia memoir. I'm having fun digging through the vaults and remembering all this stuff!



Photo: Nicole Kibert


Derron Nuhfer – bass/vocals

Who you were most looking forward to seeing perform at Fest this year?

With V.1, I was most excited to see Hot Water Music perform Flight and a Crash, runner up would have been Sparta.

With V.2 (the redo), I’m totally stoked to see Gorilla Biscuits!!!

War on Women


Photo: Drew Kaufman


Shawna Potter – frontperson

Similar to the "describe your perfect Sunday" cliché, what would you do on a perfect Fest day? Besides specific bands, what venues, restaurants, or other destinations would you visit?

My perfect day starts with sleeping in at a quiet and cheap Airbnb, booked months in advance, ideally with a pool. Then onto coffee and vegan breakfast sandwiches from Karma Cream, that magically serves them up whenever I show up, even if it's (inevitably) after 11am. Then onto a loose schedule of popping in on shows between impromptu street hangs. I can't stick to a rigid schedule, it's too much! Hopefully running into all kinds of friends, seeing new bands, and catching folks wearing WOW merch (it warms this cold cold heart).

If the day wasn't tied to a 24-hour cycle, I might also go visit those alligators that don't bother you when you walk amongst them - is that at La Chua trail? Not sure of the name, please correct me! Then it's time for lunch at Reggae Shack, more bands, a nice wheat beer at House of Beer, more music and hangs, Bloody Mary's at Boca Fiesta (at least I think that's what I was drinking at the time, not a lot of memories from last year), dinner at Reggae Shack, vegan ice cream at Karma Cream, then wind it down and sleep hard. REPEAT.

The Bombpops

Jen Razavi – guitar/vocals

What is your favorite record of 2020 so far (from a band scheduled for Fest 19)?

Skeleton Coast - The Lawrence Arms

The Tim Version

Russ – guitar/vocals

What is the best set you've ever seen at The Fest?

Best set I’ve ever seen. Phew. Tough one. I’m gonna go with the Billy Reese Peters set at the Side Bar. I can’t remember which Fest that was, but I think it was the same one where Bloodbath and Beyond played a house show and my friend open hand-slapped some dude in the head for lighting off fireworks and throwing them too close to his dog. They all kinda blur together at this point. That was a very different time for me.

Anyway, there we were at Publix -- the less sober versions of myself, Mike and Aaron -- to purchase a dozen or so champagne bottles for the show. You know, just to celebrate life. The BRP set erupted into complete chaos almost instantly and out came the champagne -- a thousand half-naked, grown-ass men on stage passing around champagne bottles and screaming into a microphone. I spent a good amount of time holding the hi-hat in place. Pretty sure that was also the first (and last) time I saw someone doing key bumps on stage. I think the set was pretty good. There’s probably video of it somewhere that may prove me wrong, but it was a religious experience.

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Words by Loren on Oct. 29, 2020, 10:58 a.m.

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The Fest That Never Was

Posted by Loren on Oct. 29, 2020, 10:58 a.m.

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