You Are Going To Hate This Fest (II)

Written by Ashdon Byszewski
Photography by Annika Cimas


Two was the magic number at the long-awaited YAGTHT Fest down at Soma San Diego. Year two, two stages and two magic words. What two words could have such an enormous meaning behind them? If you guessed The Frights, you were right. You Are Going To Hate This Fest TWO –  let me try and sum it up for you.

1:45 PM- Eager fans begin to file in line outside the seemingly empty venue, chattering amongst themselves. Members of Grove come out to say hi and pump everyone up.

3:00 PM- The doors are OPEN, and not a moment too soon. Hordes of teenagers fill the lobby instantly and sprint to swarm the metal barricade. The dark, empty room of mainstage is filled with a quiet sort of energy; something wild and untamed, about to be unleashed. That energy is our adrenaline, building as the minutes go by.

3:15 PM- The first band is ON. Opening for the entire fest is The Thens, taking on sidestage. From there, we had numerous bands rotating between sidestage and mainstage, keeping us entertained for a fast-paced eight hours.

Grove opened up mainstage with rapid, invigorating songs, throwing out pinatas during new hit “Candy” and wreaking general havoc. The Regrettes brought a different atmosphere to stage, being the only female fronted band on the lineup. The moshing during their set was some of the heaviest I saw all night. A clear role model for teen girls looking to get into music, Lydia Night's spunk and rebellious demeanor radiated energy through the room.

When asked about their favourite sets, fans across the board agreed that art punk band The Garden outdid themselves yet again. Wyatt and Fletcher Shears brought their A-game to the fest, complete with crowd surfers, raunchy dancing, a cowboy hat and an infamous hoop earring. Bursting with an infinite supply of energy and personality, it’s obvious to state that The Garden brought forth a fresh wave of excitement from the crowd. Vada Vada, boys. 

Then there was Antwon, the only rapper of the night. I’ll be honest - it got pretty lit at mainstage during that. I’m talking circle pits, bruises, and a very intense dance-off featuring the mischief-making wild children of Opt Out. 

If you skipped the rest of this article just to find the section that talks about Mikey Carnevale, Richard Dotson, and Marc Finn, look no further. 10 PM, and the stage is graced by the presence of notorious skate punk Zac Carper, who casually states that he heard SWMRS might make an appearance, leaving all of us in near tears when we realized he was kidding. That brat. He thanked us for supporting the bands, then left it up to The Frights to finish the night off.

By this time, the majority of the us were tired, sweaty, and starving, but as the familiar beachy, windswept chords began to fill the room, our fatigue was forgotten. This is what we had been waiting for. For those of you that know what I’m talking about, it’s that special spark The Frights capture in their songs… that feeling of hey, everything’s gonna be awesome, so keep your head up, and just enjoy yourself, damnit. It’s youth. They captured youth, and it is ours forever.

The band danced around previous albums and shared a new song with us, their latest single, “Whatever,” immediately riling the audience into a frenzie (the idea of new music coming very soon enough to make teens cry in anticipation). The bass was loud, but the lyrics coming from the crowd were louder. It might’ve been planned, or it might have been the nagging chants of “Beach Porn, Beach Porn!” but closing out with Beach Porn was nothing short of a perfect ending to a perfect evening. From gentle to riveting, energetic to reminiscent, we were spun in an endless merry go round of emotions by the trio known as The Frights.

The full lineup featured The ThensGroveDeath Lens, The Soaks,The RegrettesCulture Abuse, The Buttertones, No ParentsAntwon, The GardenTijuana Panthers, and last but not least, our boys from The Frights.

New friends were made, sweat was unavoidable, crowd surfers were caught, and good music was in abundance. One would expect nothing less from round two of You Are Going To Hate This Fest. An ENORMOUS thank you to every single band that played. You were all amazing, and we couldn’t be more proud here at Pure Nowhere. We love you.