FeaturesFebruary 9, 20238,426 views

Lambgoat Goes To FYA: Hardcore Lives in 2023

Lambgoat attends the premier Hardcore fest in Florida

lambgoat goes to fya 2023

Mike Dijan
By Eliot

Being from Florida has its pros and cons, and one could argue the latter stacks much higher, myself included. However, for several years now one of the caveats of living in the sunshine state for heavy music and particularly fans of hardcore has been FYA Fest, one of the premiere US festivals that began in Orlando and eventually moved to Tampa, and an event that has steadily risen in popularity every year. Last year’s edition included what was likely to be one of the last Turnstile shows in a below 2000-3000 capacity room alongside sets from heavy hitters such as Vein, Scowl, God’s Hate and Mindforce. 2023’s lineup was certainly no slouch either, with a special River Runs Red set from legends Life of Agony capping off day 1, and hardcore mainstay Cold World making their return on day 2. Mindforce appeared once again as well, alongside bands as varied as Bulldoze, Drain, 200 Stab Wounds and Fiddlehead.

Coupled with the main fest itself there was a pre-fest show on Friday, as well as late night after-shows on both Saturday and Sunday to add to the excitement, especially with several bands exclusively playing these and not the fest itself. As someone who loves hardcore, and it being one of the few things I find myself still consistently excited about nowadays, I was all in this year and decided to hit the pre-show, both days of the Fest and both after-shows as well. I made sure to see at least some of every single band playing, and in lieu of the redundancy that would be a rundown of each band, I wanted to touch on the overall experience of the Fest itself. And a hell of an experience it was, with countless memorable sets from both legendary bands I thought I’d never see as well as many exciting up-and-comers already turning heads and making names for themselves. I also witnessed a huge community of people from every corner of the hardcore scene come together in celebration of their mutual love of the music and culture, and walked away with the feeling that the genre is more relevant and exciting than ever.

In comparison to most music festivals I’ve attended, the insane crowd reactions that even the smaller openers of the fest received was a breath of fresh air in itself. I’d be hard pressed to think of a time I’ve seen harder moshing or more stage dives for a band opening a fest at 12 p.m., and the energy for every single band stayed at ‘100’ throughout the day. Rather it was the technical death metal assault of 200 Stab Wounds, the gritty oi/street punk of The Chisel, or Fiddlehead’s alt-rock-leaning post-hardcore, legitimately every set of the weekend was met with a huge crowd reaction, with massive amounts of stage diving and mosh pits that seemed to grow in size throughout each band’s set. Contention, the only Tampa area local to play the main fest, had an especially ridiculous reaction on Sunday despite playing at 12:30 p.m. It was clear that even the smaller acts playing this fest had their fair share of extremely excited followers in attendance and I could frankly see any of them becoming a headlining band on future fests in the years to come.

All and all, this is a fest and a weekend in general I won’t ever forget. From bucket list headlining sets from Life of Agony and Cold World to the packed out preshow and after shows, FYA fest stood as a celebration of hardcore music in all it’s various subgenres and forms, with representation coming from genre legends and the new era of bands alike. I count myself lucky to be from the city it takes place in, but this is a festival that’s certainly worth travelling for. I’m extremely excited to see what 2024’s 10th edition has in store, and walked away more excited about the current hardcore scene than ever.


19 comments

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anonymous 2/10/2023 6:45:20 AM

Usernames are gonna be triggered by this.

anonymous 2/10/2023 7:51:18 AM

Can't tell if a chat bot or special needs 7th grader wrote this, but either way Elliot, it's not your fault, whoever told you you were a good writer and you should pursue it should be put in jail for lying.

anonymous 2/10/2023 8:26:44 AM

What in the f*cking Jesus H. Christ is this hot mess by Life of Agony/Stuck With a Penis? Americans are f*cking idiots.

anonymous 2/10/2023 8:33:30 AM

"anonymous 40 minutes ago Can't tell if a chat bot or special needs 7th grader wrote this, but either way Elliot, it's not your fault, whoever told you you were a good writer and you should pursue it should be put in jail for lying. permalink | report abuse" I know most of you can't read even the most basic shit, but who's Elliott?

rick_tocchet 2/10/2023 1:07:22 PM

I live 25 mins away from this fest and I didnt go. I only knew of 1 band on the bill. Hardcore is in its worst sounding state of affairs of all time. I watched some vids from this fest on youtube and not one band sounds any different from the next. Plus the place they are hosting looks like a Quinceañera is being hosted the ajoining ballroom. Not really a environment for me to get my m0sh on, or for that matter stand in the back of the room with my arms crossed.

rick_tocchet 2/10/2023 1:42:47 PM

*an

anonymous 2/10/2023 6:27:28 PM

"Lambgoat goes to fya" You just pulled some videos off YouTube man

anonymous 2/11/2023 8:13:18 AM

Damn Rick that's a pretty elitist statement. You're too good for a large standing room with a stage? What else do you need to get your mosh on? The house of blues?? I've been to hardcore shows in literal grass fields and have had no issue moshing to a breakdown, as long as there was enough room to do so and a p.a and bands... but I guess even the white trash among us can have expensive taste

anonymous 2/11/2023 5:22:48 PM

Lota whites

anonymous 2/11/2023 10:14:01 PM

Unbelievable gayness

anonymous 2/11/2023 11:40:56 PM

Fake ninja kicking idiots

anonymous 2/14/2023 7:01:34 AM

Might have flown out for Kill The Imposter if they had attended, but sadly...

anonymous 2/16/2023 7:56:37 AM

"I've been to hardcore shows in literal grass fields and have had no issue moshing to a breakdown, as long as there was enough room to do so and a p.a and band" ^gay

rick____tocchet 2/16/2023 9:38:43 AM

When i still lived up north. I used to go to this barn in south jersey, they hosted in the basement of it. I saw plenty of shows there. If Hope Dies and Since the Flood played and they were the biggest shows they had. Looking back at it. I rather see a show in the basement of a barn with a dirt floor than a recital hall that doesnt even have a dimmer switch. So yeah, its an elitist statement.

anonymous 2/20/2023 7:28:58 AM

I hate hardcore over the past 10 years. No crowd killers, no violence, boring and too politically correct. None of you have any balls.

anonymous 2/20/2023 8:27:33 AM

"anonymous 56 minutes ago I hate hardcore over the past 10 years. No crowd killers, no violence, boring and too politically correct. None of you have any balls." You're legitimately so out of touch with the current hardcore scene if you think any of the above shit is true lmao. No crowd killing? No violence? lmfao. Plenty of bands that don't give a f*ck about being PC too. Legit have no clue what you're talking about.

anonymous 2/21/2023 5:53:56 AM

You're legitimately so out of touch with the current hardcore scene if you think any of the above shit is true lmao. No crowd killing? No violence? lmfao. Plenty of bands that don't give a f*ck about being PC too. Legit have no clue what you're talking about. "Crowd killing" is the ultimate in homoerotic activities.-if you think that activity is violent you deserve to have the fleas of a thousand camel's infest your pubic hair. -if you've got any,junior.

anonymous 2/22/2023 3:51:22 PM

Grammarly has a free version.

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