The Fest: damn it, why is Gainesville so far away? And in Florida?

An old buddy and I have always wanted to travel over to Gainesville, Florida, in order to join in the fun of the Fest. Most of our favourite bands seem to come from Gainesville, or nearby, or be on No Idea Records (the folks principally behind the event). We look at the lineups and sigh, sadly, knowing that even though admission to the whole event is about $50 – £25, people, that’s like a sixth of the turgid overrated wankfest that is the Carling Festival, and almost certainly less than whatever Holidays In The Sun is called these days as well – that the plane tickets over there were just plain out of our financial reach. Now, of course, we’d probably also be dragged away to Gitmo for making inappropriate jokes, or checking the box on the forms that say “have you travelled to the USA to commit an act of terrorism?” (I flew into Fort Worth, Texas, the week after September 11th and spent some time pondering this. Do they catch any ‘terrorists’ this way? I suppose it’s a possibility in a country where someone tried to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge using a gas-powered blowtorch.)

Anyway, I could probably afford it now, although my buddy is lagging a bit behind on that front (and just had to cut his mohawk off to start a new job as a bouncer, ha ha ha). Would we even want to travel to the USA? It’s not a particularly welcoming place any more, and it sounds like flying there is among the most unpleasant travel experiences available.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’d love to go. And maybe some day we will. Not in 2007, though.

Fortunately, the lovely folks at No Idea and have taken a break from their busy lives (drinking rubbish American beer? Listening to music all day? Skiving at the day job? I have no idea) and put together a free compilation of songs by bands playing the Fest this year. It’s free! What could be better than that? How about some artwork done by Mitch Clem of Nothing Nice 2 Say fame? Yeah, that’ll do it.

At the moment, you can only stream it, but we’re promised downloads and artwork this afternoon. So that’s probably about 9pm in Britisher time. The stream is pretty decent, though, so take a leaf out of my book and listen to it now, now, NOW!

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