The Fest 11 Schedule Conflict Deathmatch
by No Idea

Too many great bands in one place has become an annual occurrence at The Fest, and as such there are bound to be some tough conflicts for fans to deal with. Deciding what band to see in a time slot is an inexact science, based on variables like line length, venue location and set length. Generally wandering around and not worrying about conflicts is often the better way to experience the Fest, but we know that's not an option for a lot of our readers. We also know that it's an election year and there might be some undecided Fest voters out there!

With that in mind, we rolled up the sleeves on our business casual shirts and picked out a few glaring Fest conflicts, going to bat for each band involved. There's no such thing as a bad Fest set decision, remember that.

Fest 11 tickets are still available here and the schedule can be perused here for context.

Kepi Ghoulie vs. Ceremony

If you’re trying to get down on some fuzzy, Halloweeny, unplugged pop punk at Fest then Kepi Ghoulie is the man to see. His bewitching tunes are monstrously delightful. I mean, yeah, Ceremony is undeniably awesome, but you can see them anytime… Kepi (of the late Groovie Ghoulies) is rarely on the east coast, let alone Florida. Speaking of the Groovie Ghoulies, wouldn’t you like to see the frontman of one of the greatest bubblegum-pop punk bands possibly play some of your favorite songs? Perhaps he will play something off of his recent solo album I Bleed Rock N Roll? MAYBE he’ll even play some country classics or a Haints tune? No matter what he plays the crowd is sure to be in for a major treat. —Melissa Bruce

Oh, no doubt about it, Kepi Ghoulie rocks. I've seen him four times and he puts on one heck of a revved up rock show. But, while Kepi rocks, Ceremony is a transformative experience. Probably the most interesting band in hardcore today, Ceremony have just recently begun to mix their powerviolence background with their contemporary Joy Division-ish wailing. The result is that they take their stage with the incredibly pounding "Sick," draw the audience up into the rafters with "Video" only to tear the house down with the manic "The Lines in My Forehead." Punk rock is evolving and here is your chance to see it happen in real time. in doing so, you might find that you evolve yourself. Seriously. Ceremony is a can't miss. —John Gentile

Teenage Bottlerocket vs. Latterman

Let’s face it, reunion shows are getting old. Spend your time with a relevant act like Teenage Bottlerocket, who are hot on the heels of a brand new record in Freak Out! that is one of the best pop punk records of the year. This band is going to be "Bigger than Kiss" so make sure you are able to tell your kids one day that you saw this band in their prime. Who else is going to shoot lasers at you out of their guitars? —Brittany Strummer

I'm going to be honest: I won’t be at Fest this year, but if I were going there would be a list of maybe four or five bands who I would skip anything or anyone to see. Latterman are one of those bands. Every song is a sing-along, chock-full of energy affair. Fact of the matter is, Latterman are probably never going to play a show again after this, while Teenage Bottlerocket will be touring right after Fest ends. Would you rather see somebody you may never have a chance to see again or somebody that you'll probably see two months from now? —Ruben Naour

Dear Landlord vs. Hop Along vs. Post Teens (Three Way Dance)

Why should you choose Dear Landlord? Well, quite simply, this is your CHANCE, man! They’ve got shit to do; they don’t tour that much. And let’s not forget that Dear Landlord are responsible for one of THE best pop-punk records of all time in Dream Homes. Yeah, I said it. You know you can’t pass up the chance to get sweaty and happy to their total bummer tunes. —John Flynn

It happens at every Fest: some smaller, unknown band will play an amazing, life-affirming set in front of a small-but-passionate audience and break through, earning their way up to larger rooms in subsequent Fests. At Fest 11, that band will be Hop Along. The soaring vocals of frontwoman Frances Quinlan will give everyone in attendance goosebumps. "Tibetan Pop Stars" might be the best song of 2012. Dear Landlord’s set will be fun and Post Teens’ set will be raucous, but Hope Along are going to make Fest history. —Brendan McCaughan

When I go to Fest, I make an effort to see bands that I wouldn’t normally have a chance to see. That’s how I discovered Post Teens. Featuring members of amazing Florida bands such as Averkiou, Torche and Assholeparade, this band’s blend of fuzzy, post-punk rock is amazing. They keep their songs short, energetic and on point, making for a fun live show. They rarely play outside of Florida so don’t miss this chance to see them. —Patrick Dangermond

The Dopamines vs. Dan Vapid and the Cheats

Two years ago during their 1:30pm set at Fest 9, the Dopamines declared that they should never play a show before 5pm ever again. This year, the alcohol-fueled pop punk group were given a more appropriate 6:50pm slot and anyone who chooses to skip out will be missing not only a great band playing catchy, addicting songs, but also a fantastic back-and-forth between a beer-soaked audience and the (let's be real here, probably wasted) band. The band released their third album, Vices, this year and like their two previous albums, it does not disappoint. If you're wise enough to make the right choice, be prepared to dodge the PBR cans the Jons will without a doubt throw at the crowd. Also, Mikey Erg will probably be on guitar. Yes, Danny Vapid is on his way to punk rock sainthood, but haven't you seen him at Insubordination Fest already? —Elisa Verna

Ah, yes, the colossal battle of the pop punk titans. Dopamines rock, for sure. But after a while, pop punk is just more pop punk. However, the Dan Vapid and the Cheats Show will be a landmark. After the implosion of Screeching Weasel, Dan Vapid has revolted against his narcissistic master Ben Weasel and formed his own band. This Fest show will be the first and greatest chance for you to catch Vapid and his crew overcoming setbacks and striking out on their own. Dopamines will play some good tunes, but Dan Vapid and The Cheats are going to overcome a mountain. This is history in the making. —John Gentile

Bomb The Music Industry! vs. Comadre vs. A Wilhelm Scream (Three Way Dance)

Well, you could go see Bomb the Music Industry!, a band that revolutionized punk rock as we know it through the concept of free digital downloads, crosses genres like ska to hardcore to indie to pop like it's walking across the street, has shows that rock like wild parties where everyone is invited, flies across the range of dynamics with guitars, saxes, trumpets, and keys, are probably breaking up after this show, and are basically one of the most exciting bands in punk rock. Or, you could go see Comadre, a self described "Screamo" band that has one tone (screaming) that will likely scream twelve songs in a row about how the girl that works at Aeropostale doesn't like them. I mean, it's your choice, really. To each their own. —John Gentile

Come see Comadre turn a room literally upside down while you’re at this year’s Fest. Theses gritty hardcore punk geniuses have a fine amount of music with which to blow you away. Their live show is uncompromisingly energetic, and so is their crowd. If you are coming to Fest to get absolutely nuts, then you must make the stop to go see the great Comadre! —Justin Richter

Don’t let Bomb the Music Industry! guilt-trip you into seeing their set because they cannot make up their mind about whether they are going to keep touring or not. A Wilhelm Scream are working on a new album so they will most likely have some awesome new songs to play. Last year they had a set where they played Mute Print in its entirety so maybe they will do something similar this year. Maybe with Ruiner? Do not take a chance on missing that. Plus the rhythm section of Bomb the Music Industry! will corner you and show you pictures of their cats. Save that for the internet! —Brittany Strummer

Iron Chic vs. Mixtapes (acoustic)

Iron Chic's debut full-length Not Like This was released in 2010 and the album is already on its fifth pressing. If you're a fan of catchy gang vocals and Latterman-core bands, chances are you already have every word on this record memorized, and what better way to start your Fest Saturday at 8 Seconds than by screaming the words to "Every Town Has An Elm Street" with 200+ other people? It's the perfect way to kick off your second day of Fest, just when you're feeling sluggish from your first (or perhaps second) night of partying. Iron Chic always put on a great live performance and their stellar set will remind you why you dragged your ass to Gainesville in the first place. —Elisa Verna

Hey look, another band from the greater New York area that vaguely sounds like Latterman, sings mid-tempo songs about aging, has bad beards and probably worse body odor. That hasn’t been done to death already! According to scientific research gathered, uh, just now, the yawn quotient will be much lower when Mixtapes perform acoustic Saturday afternoon. Even on the Worst Nights is one hell of a debut full-length, and who knows, maybe Grath Madden of House Boat will show up to sing his guest spot on "Anyways." Who would want to miss a Fest Moment™ like that? Yeah, we know the band are playing an electric set the following night. Go to both. —Fletcher Lindberg

Kudrow vs. Elway

Although Elway did do the incredibly punk act of getting sued by John Elway, they advertise themselves as having a "time tested formula." You know who doesn't have a formula? Kudrow, and that's because the Jeff Rosenstock fronted band are fairly new and still experimenting with sound, style, and substance. Elway will be nice, but its same ol', same ol' while ANYTHING could happen at Kudrow. Will the band play their entire discography? Maybe. Will they play an entire set of new, unrecorded jams? Maybe. Will Rosenstock eat a live chicken on stage? Maybe. Also, they have an EP named Lando—that is, after the coolest dude in the Star Wars universe. You can't deny that. —John Gentile

Tough matchup. Both bands bring the sad jams in a big way. I've decided I'm definitely going to see Elway, though. It's a win/win: as long as they play "Kristina's Last Song," I'll stay pumped enough to dig a tunnel into 8 Seconds to see BTMI! on Sunday and skip the line. Then I won't feel so bad about missing Kudrow. —Declan Ryan

Dwarves vs. Restorations

Restorations have been called "music for grownup punks." That means they play mid-tempo ballads with graveled vocals. During shows, fans slightly sway back and forth, close their eyes, and hold up opens palms like you see in Christian rock videos. It is a calm, solemn experience. By contrast, the Dwarves kick out two minute riff banger after two minute riff banger. There is no pause between songs. Just hit after hit after hit. Singer Blag Dahlia howls about fighting and fucking while crowd surfing. Monitors might get kicked in. People will get hearing damage. There might be a fight; the band will probably be involved. There will be nudity (male and female). I mean, if that doesn't clinch it for you, there's not really much I can do to help you out. —John Gentile

With a new LP in the can and a new deal with SideOneDummy to release said LP in early 2013, it’s safe to say that Restorations will be going into their set at Fest 11 awfully confident, and with an arsenal of new jams from which to pull. John’s right about the Dwarves’ set likely being a shitshow in the best way possible, but anyone who witnessed Restorations’ raucous, wall-kicking Fest debut at Loosey’s last October knows they’re gonna bring the pain. The grownup pain. Catch them now in a small room while you still can. —Hank Mackaye

High Voltage: A Tribute to AC/DC vs. Toys That Kill vs. Red City Radio vs. The Fake Boys (FATAL FOUR WAY MATCH)

Yeah, you could go see Red City Radio, but do you really need to see another band that has guys with beards that sing about whiskey in a gruff voice while wearing flannel? You could go see the Fake Boys, but do you really need more… ugh… pop punk? You could go see Toys That Kill, but you know what, you can ALWAYS see Toys That Kill because they tour like once a week. You know who doesn't tour that often? Bon Scott of AC/DC. Know why? BECAUSE HE'S DEAD, YOU INSENSITIVE PRICK. BUT! You can get the next best thing with High Voltage, the premiere Bon Scott era-AC/DC tribute band. Why get elbow to elbow to elbow with a bunch of smelly beardos who only want to rock out so long as everyone doesn't have to move too much when you can get down with (the resurrection) of the GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL BAND EVER? Nothing rocks like "Shot Down in Flames." Nothing. —John Gentile

Toys That Kill have been playing Fest since there was a Fest so if you haven’t seen them by now, what is WRONG with you? This band has developed its own unique take on punk music and has been consistently great for years now. They also recently released their first album in six years, Fambly 42, so they have a bunch of new songs to play. Their live shows are filled with a joy and energy that always makes for a fun vibe, so make sure not to miss them! —Patrick Dangermond

First off, do I need to even say why you should see Red City Radio instead of the AC/DC cover band at this year's Fest? Didn't you have an AC/DC cover band with your uncle on guitar play at your high school graduation party? It's okay, I won't tell. Red City Radio's The Dangers of Standing Still was voted the #6 best album of 2011 by the Punknews staff and they played, without a doubt, one of the best sets at last year's Fest. Standing Still is an album that I've yet to get sick of and the band have an endless amount of live energy. I understand you might have a big fat crush on Todd Congelliere (join the club), but Toys That Kill is playing an outdoor set at Boca Fiesta (does that even qualify as a set?) and you can always see Underground Railroad to Candyland on Sunday. —Elisa Verna

Boston’s the Fake Boys are gonna wow you on Saturday night. You’re not going to expect the rough croon and sweet pop-punk these guys will throw at you. Their new album, Pig Factory, has flown underneath the radar, but that’ll change after next weekend. You’ll kick yourself for not getting into them sooner, but it’s okay. This is how we grow. —John Flynn