In 2002, a Halloween tradition was born in Gainesville, FL. THE FEST is an independent, multi-day, multi-venue underground music festival that features 400+ musicians every year. It has become one of the biggest rock festivals in North Central Florida.

Spread across 13 different venues in Downtown Gainesville, THE FEST showcases genres such as rock, punk rock, indie rock, and hardcore punk. In more recent years, the festival started adding comedians to the lineup.

Bo Diddley Plaza, a well-known spot amongst locals, acts as a main stage for THE FEST and has hosted bands such as Against Me!, Jawbreaker, Less Than Jake, JAWBOX, The Bronx, and Stiff Little Fingers.

Notable past performers include Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Streetlight Manifesto, The Menzingers, Matt and Kim, Hot Water Music, and The Gaslight Anthem.

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