Living in Gainesville FL, also known as The Swamp, can be considered a bombardment of fraternities and sororities, but nestled away from midtown-in downtown, lies the comfort of guitar shreds, cheap beer, and a friendly music-induced atmosphere of punk vibes. Some of the local bands- Insignificant Other, GUTS, and Post Teens all contribute to the punk pool of Gainesville. Besides the local shows, an abundance of bands flood the scene, and information on tours can be found on Punknews.org.
If you’re looking for guitar shredding, pumped-up crowds of people going passionately-crazy, then the punk scene might be your calling. Last year at FEST14, a music event that sponsors a weekend festival of punk-rock in Gainesville, brought out the best of the community: Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, Foxing, and more. The best part of this scene is not just the music- it’s the community. Everyone is connected through the music, excited, and at the shows for the same reason, which is to have a good time. Bring your friends and acquaintances new or old, regardless it is always an experience worth sharing.
Beware the heart of the enthusiasm, otherwise known as- the pit. The pit is a place of total enthusiasm, passion, and madness for punk. People are jamming out to the band in a physical manner that often leads to some sucker getting knocked down, hit in the face, or leaving with a bloody eye- the latter was me at The Fidlar show last year in Gainesville. The safety zone is outside the pit, where fans can appreciate the music in a less physical way.
For those unaware of the punk scene, it’s history, or leading activists, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain sheds light on the topic. Reading a book is helpful, but the best way to appreciate and learn about this scene is to simply go to a show. It can be a big event or a local show- it doesn’t matter. Get yourselff out there at the venue, talk to people, and immerse yourself in a passionate culture that enjoys good music.