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 Dayton, Ohio around the start of the millennium, and known as A Day in the Life in their early years, before settling on Hawthorne Heights in 2003, after signing to infamous but scene-foundational label Victory Records and releasing their debut LP, The Silence in Black and White, in ’04, the famed screamo outfit became one of the most popular and successful emo and post-hardcore infused acts of the ’00s. Earning Gold certifications, chart-topping singles, television and radio play, and spots on prestigious tours of the day like Warped Tour, Nintendo Fusion, and Projekt Revolution, Hawthorne Heights found massive success thanks to gut-wrenchingly raw and earnest, yet aggressive and heavy, early singles like “Ohio Is for Lovers” and “Niki FM,” propelling their second LP, If Only You Were Lonely, which spawned over fan-favorite tracks like “Saying Sorry,” to similarly impressive commercial heights and scene resonance upon release in 2006.
The later years of the last decade would see the group face some unfortunate obstacles, including the tragic and sudden death of founding guitarist Casey Calvert, a messy legal battle with their label, and the general cultural shift away from scremo, prompting them to return to their DIY roots after a 2008 third Victory Records LP, Fragile, and briefly flirting with a major label for 2010’s Skeletons. More recently, Hawthorne Heights independently released a trio of EPs, as well as a 2013 dystopian concept album, Zero, distributed through Red Entertainment, and have become an increasingly more active touring outfit at the club level (with frequent stops in Nashville in recent years), also returning to Warped Tour and embarking on anniversary runs for their beloved first two LPs. After partnering with Pure Noise Records, the band returned last year with their most inspired album in ages, Bad Frequencies, managing to bridge the angst and emotional resonance of their early work while firmly navigating adulthood, making for a nostalgic, eclectic, confident nod to the past with one eye to the future. If you haven’t checked in on Hawthorne Heights in awhile, there’s never been a better time!
LISTEN | “Ohio Is for Lovers”
WATCH | “Just Another Ghost” (Official Music Video)