Founded as a humble, DIY, single-location festival by the fine folks at Nashville’s Dead, the annual Freakin’ Weekend fest helped propel Nashville’s underground punk scene to national relevance, growing, over the years, to a multi-venue, multi-day showcase of the best of local and national punk, indie, garage rock, hardcore, and more. Announced last month, this year’s eighth installment, set to run tonight, March 9 – 11, will, sadly, be Freakin’ Weekend’s last. Dubbed “the last fucking weekend,” it feels like a worthy end, skewing heavy on local talent and returning performers from over the years, for a comparatively scaled-down event compared to the last several. While this might be the last Freakin’ Weekend in name, the event’s current organizers plan to keep the spirit alive in some form or another, albeit without the weight of a festival, which, over nearly a decade, has very much morphed into something else in meaning and function.
Though not without hurdles and controversy, including some heading into this year (we’re not informed enough on the issue at hand to elaborate, by the way; that’s not meant to be cryptic), the impact that Freakin’ Weekend, Nashville’s Dead, and the people involved have had on the growth and scene-building in Nashville has been immeasurable. It’s true that some of the scrappy punk spirit of its earlier days has been lost, but watching bands grow with the fest to become prominent, nationally-known artists has, in its own way, been incredibly rewarding to witness.
As Freakin’ Weekend comes to a close, artists like Diarrhea Planet, Daddy Issues, Jawws, Jacuzzi Boys, Ranch Ghost, and Music Band return to say goodbye, performing over three evening showcases (single venue this year, as opposed to the two-venue setup in recent years) at The End and Exit/In. The evening events are individually ticketed, and both nights at The End are all ages (Exit is 18+). Below, find details, ticket links, artists previews, and more, and get ready for one final, fucking Freakin’ Weekend.