Managing editor Scott Heisel isn’t new to The Fest. He attended every year since 2005, making this his eighth trek to downtown Gainesville, Florida, for a three-day extravaganza of bands, beards, beers and bro-downs. As literally hundreds of bands big and small play each year, it’s impossible to see everyone. So let Scott’s suggestions serve as a punk-rock Frommer’s guide for your Festing.
BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! (Sunday, 7-7:40 p.m., 8 Seconds)
Given their recent announcement that they’re sorta-kinda-maybe breaking up/hiatusing/taking some personal time/whathaveyou and the outpouring of emotion from fans that followed, you’d be a fool not to catch what might be Bomb The Music Industry!’s final Fest set. Past years have included everything from candy being thrown at the audience to impromptu Weakerthans covers. We’re guessing the Bomb-ardiers have something up their sleeve for this year.
BRAID (Saturday, 12:20-1:20 a.m., 8 Seconds)
This will be Braid’s first time playing the Fest (seeing as how they were, uh, broken up for the majority of the past 11 years), but the band’s recent reunion tour was sold out just about everywhere it went and featured plenty of songs that sound just as awesome in 2012 as they did in 1998. While the band are remaining active, it’s doubtful they will get down to Florida again any time soon, so don’t miss this opportunity to see one of second-wave emo’s standard-bearers in the flesh.
CANDY HEARTS (Saturday, 8:10-8:40 p.m., Boca Fiesta [inside])
While plenty of Festers have XX chromosomes, there's a significant under-representation of women onstage versus in the crowd. Thankfully Candy Hearts are helping to even things out. Fronted by Mariel Loveland and carrying a brand new six-song EP produced by New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert in their back pockets, look for Candy Hearts’ set to be full of free-spirited, fun sing-alongs.
JOYCE MANOR (Sunday, 3:00-3:40 p.m., Florida Theater of Gainesville)
This California four-piece have been blowing up throughout the past year, thanks in part to their two killer “full-lengths” that total just under 32 minutes’ worth of music. Seeing as their set time is a half-hour, you’re guaranteed to hear virtually their entire catalog, especially the absolutely crushing “Constant Headache.” (Expect some serious stage invasions for that one.)
KYLE KINANE (Sunday, 5:30-6 p.m. & 9:30-10 p.m., Rockey’s Piano Bar)
Last year’s Fest featured the inaugural Fest Comedy Showcase, and even though Kyle Kinane didn’t headline it, there was no question he stole the show. This year he’s back headlining not one but two comedy shows–a matinee and an evening performance–and you would be foolish if you didn’t make time for at least one of them. Bonus: There are lots of seats at Rockey’s Piano Bar, and by Sunday night, all you’re going to want to do is sit down.