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History | Horrible Fest 2013


Horrible Fest 2013 Volume 8 (The Movie) from Noid Films on Vimeo.

Horrible Fest I – November 10th-12th 2005 – The original Horrible Fest, booked by Russ Romance and Ryan Horrible – with assistance from Mark @ The Beachland (where nights one and three took place), Joe @ Blacklist Gallery (Where night two took place).  Highlights included the BLACK LIPS and THE KING KHAN AND BBQ SHOW tour headling Thursday night when both bands were at their peak, the first-ever out-of-town show by Californians SHOOT IT UP, the Saturday matinee at Moes Tavern – highlighted by the infamous ROT SHIT eel incident and a very-pissed off  set from CIDER, and THE JABBERS (w/ Wimpy from the Queers) wrapping up the weekend.  This weekend definitely made a name for the fest – both good and bad – lots of excellent unhinged performances all weekend, as well as some fights/financial difficulties. Overall, a high standard of entertainment was set, and some lessons learned.

Horrible Fest II – April 19th-21st 2007 – The second year, Russ and Ryan teamed up with Paul Schlacter who had recently returned to Cleveland, and opened his new venue Now That’s Class.  All 3 nights took place at the new venue, along with afternoon shows at Tower 2012.  A more diverse lineup this time around, branching out from the mainly garage-punk focused original year – this year was the most hardcore focused of all the Horrible Fests.  Michigan hardcore legends THE STATE were the weekend’s headliner with a vicious short set (unfortunately, co-headliner CANDY SNATCHERS were unable to make the show).  Other notable performance included one of the first US appearances by Italian assholes OUT WITH A BANG and insane sets from the DARVOCETS and INMATES.  Garage-punk continued to be represented as well with great sets from RIVER CITY TANLINES and LIVEFASTDIE.  Things ran as smoothly as they could for such a lineup with none of the financial difficulties of the first year, and the fest would continue to be hosted at Now That’s Class in future years, with Paul helping to book bands and make suggestions for future years of the fest.

Horrible Fest III – April 17th – 19th 2008 – The third installment of the fest booked by Russ, Ryan, Paul and DJ Hot Trash.  Even more diverse than year two – with Thursday featuring great garage-punk sets from CHEAP TIME and THOMAS FUNCTION.  Friday night was a stellar noise-punk lineup with Columbus legends CHEATER SLICKS headlining along with CLOCKCLEANER and DAILY VOID – along with an acoustic PINK REASON set in the basement, and an intense last-minute 2AM basement set from TV GHOST.  Saturday night was highlighted by two great Cleveland band reunions – BOULDER and THE RUINERS – plus the return of the always-great HUMAN EYE.

Romantic Getaway (aka Horrible Fest IV) – April 30th – May 2nd 2009 – Ryan Horrible was unable to do much booking this year due to other commitments, so the fest underwent a temporary name change – though most continued to refer to the weekend as Horrible Fest.  The lineup contined in the same vein as the prior year – including a headlining set from THE STITCHES , along with excellent sets from WIZZARD SLEEVE and MAGNETIX (from France).  King Louie was scheduled to return with his infamous trash-punk combo KAJUN SS, but unfortunately had to cancel due to personal troubles.  This was also the first year to feature bands performing outside during the afternoon – and the debut of the now-infamous (and dirty) hot tub in the NTC parking lot.

Horrible Fest V – May 5th – 9th 2010 – The most bizarre/diverse lineup of the fest yet.  Thursday night had been a more laid-back night featuring mainly local and regional bands the past couple years, but this featured a variety of scum-rock and trashy metal bands – headlined by the one and only MENTORS.  Some of the highlights of the rest of the weekend included the first Cle appearance of TIMMYS ORGANISM, a messy set from the legendrary noise act COCK ESP, a very over-the-top performance from PUFFY AREOLAS, an extremely intoxicated TKOs reunion, and a very creepy set of dirge-punk from Boston legends KILSLUG.  This year also lasted for five days – including a Wednesday night kickoff on Cinco De Mayo featuring SLOTH and a mariachi band – and wrapped up with a Sunday brunch at The Parkview with UNO LADY.

Besides an always interesting and diverse range of bands each year, the fest has always become known for its assortment of colorful personalities that gather each year – both in the performing bands, and attendees who gather from all over the weekend to enjoy an unhinged weekend of partying and great music.  In contrast to other fests which are generally more genre-specific – Horrible Fest aims to provide one of the most insane party weekends of the year – along with memorable and unique bands across a variety of different styles.  Some sets might be disastrous, some bands not to everyone’s taste – but we aim to make sure that no set is boring!

-russ march 2011

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