The annual hardcore music festival circuit is probably at an apex. You've got the final Rain Fest, United Blood just went down, Sound and Fury is still a thing, right? And then you've got about 20 more small-scale fests scattered around the country with varying numbers of bands. I mean, Riot Fest and The Fest are not necessarily "hardcore" music festivals but they still incorporate a healthy dose of punk and dumbasses stumbling around drunk because they "really enjoy music."
And then there is This is Hardcore. Probably the premiere East Coast hardcore music festival, this heavy hitter is the fest that everyone saves their merch money for and starts hitting all the B9 "Post a Picture of Yourself v. blah blah blah" threads to find fellow scenesters to be above referenced dumbasses. And yeah, and do the sex to each other in the sweaty disgustingness of their soft bodies squished into skinny clothes for 16 straight hours while they fuel up on garbage food, drink and rip-off merch of rip-off merch of rip-off merch of that one Turning Point t-shirt design that should have never escaped the 1980s to begin with.
Or I'm just messing with you and going to musical festivals can be one of the best experiences of your life. I can vividly recall several from around 16 years ago that I loved so dearly.
The point: have fun! Or don't, it's your life so I don't care.
Have you ever been to This Is Hardcore?
Andy Wilcox: (Andy..?)
Caitlin Lipinski: I moshed TIHC in 2008, 2012, and 2013. There may have been another year I attended but my memory is gone/it isn’t important.
Nathan Dimit: No.
Daniel Coughlin: No.
Are you planning on going to This Is Hardcore 2016?
Wilcox: So for a kid that claims himself as a "hardcore" fan and wears 1992 Pixies shirts that he bought off of eBay because he could, this Line Up boasts a lot of mosh pits. I won't personally attend but if it was lets say in Chicago? I would be singing a different tune.
Lipinski: I’d like to go see some bands and friends but I also know I won’t make any great sacrifices in order to do so. At least that’s how I feel about it right now. If a generous benefactor wants to pay me to go out there or at least cover my expenses, I wouldn’t tell them to piss off. I’m no monster.
Of the headliners - Youth of Today, Turning Point, Gorilla Biscuits, Integrity - which band is your favorite?
Wilcox: Of the headliners the only band I mess around with is Integrity just because of the skull logo mainly because I think it's cool and they had a poster in the background of that John Cusack Movie.
Lipinski: Turning Point. Gorilla Biscuits. Youth of Today. Integrity. In that order.
Dimit: Gorilla Biscuits.
Coughlin: Love them all, but Turning Point and Youth of Today are definitely the most exciting. Also, BURN!
Which of the following is the most interesting band on the bill - Zao, Ruiner, Free, Most Precious Blood?
Wilcox: But let't get into the hardcore because after all this is hardcore. And this is just what jumps out at ME, the kid who didn't get into Have Heart until 2013. Ruiner (love this band, Prepare to Be Let Down was fantastic), Angel Du$t (I'm a du$t head so what), Free (see Have Heart Joke), Incendiary (If and when I lift weights, maybe I listen to this), Freedom (yeah this is cool), True Love (Champion 2.0), Naysayer (is actually just Incendiary).
Lipinski: BURN. Strife. Floorpunch. Killing Time. Breakdown. Done Dying. Nails. Freedom. Pretty much in that order.
Dimit: Zao's been playing shows for a while or else I would say them. I'd go with Ruiner.
Coughlin: Probably haven't seen Zao since 2001? Anyway, it has been a long time so I'd like to check them out again. Most Precious Blood was always good, too. But let's just do the whole Indecision thing, please.
Let's say you were at This Is Hardcore 2016, would you rather be stuck on the edge of pit, near the idiot crowd punchers or at the stage, getting face-stepped by kids in white Vans?
Wilcox: So having my musical background coming from the metal side (Avenged Sevenfold changed my 7th grade life, and is the reason why my first girlfriend broke up with me), my eyes immediately hit on those bands in the line up. Nails, Ringworm, Full of Heck, and Zao duh. You' ll see a couple devil horns put up and aside from Zao, you'll see double IPA 8.5% ABV brews drunk to those bands.
Lipinski: I heard there is re-entry this year, so I would just opt out from the above. ;)
Dimit: I'm drinking in the parking lot.
Coughlin: I figure I've got plenty of mosh pit karma headed my direction for all the fakes I've crushed over the years, but I'm into falafel so I'd be up front during the good edge bands, then at various food trucks until food coma ends me. Which is a fancy way of saying I'll watch the fest from Hate5Six on my couch in Wisconsin next year.