BreakFEST 2019 Artist Spotlight: Real Friends


What began as an idea several years ago by New Found Glory guitarist and local transplant Chad Gilbert, and finally manifested into an inaugural event last year at The Factory at Franklin’s Liberty Hall, breakfast-themed punk rock and alternative day fest BreakFEST was an absolute blast in its first year, and we’re thrilled to see the event return for year two, hopefully the start of an annual tradition, on June 2!

A novel concept (you can read more about the inspiration and backstory in our interview with Gilbert from last summer) BreakFEST is a great way to bring fans of pop punk, emo, alternative, and everything in between together in the daytime, to enjoy great tunes and great food, and this year’s lineup once again boasts a stellar mix of old and new acts along with a few locals, with New Found Glory, Real Friends, Hawthorne Heights, Mae, The Early November, Microwave, Jetty Bones, H.A.R.D., Love You Later, and Doll Skin all set to perform. Plus, with great local venders like Frothy Monkey, Honest Coffee, Five Daughters, High Brow Coffee, Tiny Little Donuts, Mojo’s Tacos, Juice Bar, Triple Crown Bakery, Muletown Coffee, and Ruby Sunshine all announced as well, the breakfast side of BreakFEST warrants just as much excitement.

To help you get ready for this year’s event, we’ll be highlighting a different performer each day until BreakFEST weekend, with daily Artist Spotlight features (similar to what we’re also doing ahead of Bonnaroo). So, whether you’re checking in on an old favorite or discovering a new one, you’ll arrive ready to rock and prepared to sing along! And finally, for more about all things BreakFEST, including a helpful FAQ section, be sure to check out the event’s website.

BreakFEST is an all ages event, and, as the concept would suggest, it kicks off early, with doors set to open at 8 a.m. You can still get GA tickets for less than $40, or upgrade to $100 VIP, which grants you special balcony seating, a separate bathroom and bar, special entry, and some freebies like a t-shirt and poster. Food and beverage are not included in the price of admission, but there will be a well-curated selection of local goodies that are well worth the cost.

Get your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and keep reading to learn more about the lineup in our BreakFEST Artist Spotlight


Formed in 2010 in the suburbs of Chicago, Real Friends have, over the past several years, become one of the best and most dependable acts among a new wave of pop punk. Part of a crop of revivalists acts who’ve sprung up since the start of the decade, pop punk has seen something of a sonic and philosophical course correction, moving away from the reactionary scene that sprung up after the style became all the commercial rage in the ’00s, and moving back towards the rawer, faster, more punk rooted and melodically resonant approach that ruled the ’90s and early ’00s. Like Knuckle Puck, State Champs, and other breakout and beloved peers, Real Friends are part of this refreshing new movement of bands, and perhaps best nail the sound, earnestness, energy, and feel of favorites like The Starting Line, Taking Back Sunday, and, of course, New Found Glory, albeit fused with contemporary flair.

After an series of well-received early EPs, Real Friends signed to Fearless Records in 2013, and released their debut full-length, Maybe This Place Is the Same We’re Just Changing, the following year, instantly attracting a cult following, praise from within the punk scene press and beyond, and increasingly larger tours and spots at events like Warped Tour. By their sophomore LP, the equally raw, resonant, punk spirited yet pop accessible The Home Inside My Head in 2016, the group had become one of the most popular and buzziest acts in pop punk, but, despite positive reception from fans, weren’t entirely happy with the finished product, and quietly took much of 2017 off, as vocalist Dan Lambton also publicly struggled with bipolar disorder. Weathering their personal turmoil, the band returned last year with their best record yet, Mike Green produced third effort Composure, packing just as much earnest, raw, and confessional songwriting with a more mature focus. Destined to go down with as strong a legacy as the bands that inspired their sound, Real Friends are, without a doubt, one of the most refreshing and important bands in modern pop punk.

 LISTEN | “I Don’t Love You Anymore”

WATCH | “From the Outside” (Official Music Video)


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