Swamp Records’ annual Fall Fest will rock out online this year.
The UF student-run record label will host the event via YouTube at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The lineup will feature bands from across the state, including Driveaway, The Forum, Tamayo, Faith and Majesty and more.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased via @swamp_records on Venmo. Each ticket includes a raffle entry to win one of 20 merchandise packages from top names in Gainesville music and beyond, including flipturn, Mac DeMarco, Taylor Swift and Tame Impala. Raffle tickets are $5 for first entry and $1 for following entries.
For this year’s event, Swamp Records will be teaming up with Cat Family Records, another nonprofit record label based in Tallahassee. The label will contribute two bands to the lineup: bandanna and Boys Who Cry. Swamp Records will also be partnering with Music GNV.
Fall Fast is held annually to showcase Swamp Records artists. All the money raised by the label goes back into supporting its signed bands. The label’s annual spring showcase was canceled in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bella Clements, a 21-year-old UF marketing senior and president of Swamp Records, said the label, which consists of student volunteers, aims to build up their artists and the local music community.
“ It’s our mission to help these artists but also to help the budding scene here and keep our communities here supported, especially during COVID,” she said.
While Fall Fest is traditionally held in person, the flexibility of the online medium allows opportunities for the lineup and audience that were not available before, said Kayleigh Thomas, Swamp Records’ business director.
“The virtual platform makes it easy for these bands all across the Florida area to hop on and showcase their talents,” Thomas said.
Thomas said Fall Fest is important to these bands because it strengthens their ties within the music scene and expands their outreach beyond city limits.
“It’s an extremely tight-knit music community,” Thomas said. “Swamp Records saw the opportunity to help all of these bands grow bigger and even pass Gainesville.”
For Tanner Ropp, bassist for Gainesville band Driveaway, performing without a stage is a new challenge. Ropp said Friday’s audience will see Driveaway’s members playing in their living room.
“We started recently trying to do a fancy light setup and projecting things on the walls,” Ropp said. “To make it feel as much like a live space as possible.”
Ropp said moving the band’s performances online posed an opportunity to reach more fans and interact with more artists than in Gainesville alone. The band has been hosting a livestream event called Carousel of Sound, where they invite two to three artists to perform with them a few songs at a time.
“It makes the world a lot smaller,” Ropp said. “Before, we had bands from other states or cities we’d want to do shows with and we couldn’t really make that happen. Because things are virtual, that doesn’t matter anymore.”