Saturday, November 14th kicked off the second annual Kink Music Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida. Kink Music Festival boasts a talented line up of bands - including both a local and main stage, a Tattoo Expo hosted by Atomic Tattoos, and the Kustom Kar show all in one day; and at a $30 price tag ($40 day of) you're definitely getting your money's worth!
The doors opened at noon, where vendors such as Music Over Matter clothing ( http://musicovermatter.bigcartel.com/ ) and The Vaporatory ( http://www.thevaporatory.com/ ) were opened for business and Florida band Felicity took to the local stage welcoming the guests in for the day. Guests ran towards the stages, some claiming their spot up front at the main stage for the next 11 hours, and others over to the local stage ready to rock out.
Inside the Tattoo Expo, booths lined the building a s the talented artists of Kink began taking their first appointments of the day. In the center of the room, however, was a roped off area that would later showcase multiple suspension acts of both the pierced and roped variety performed by the Metamorphosis Suspension Group.
The local stage of Kink Fest was a great place to hang out while the main stage crew set up in between bands. Felicity, Kill the Sound, Abandon the Midwest, F.I.L.T.H, I Woke Up Early For My Funeral, and Southern Fried Genocide were all excellent additions to the festival. For this South Florida girl, it was great having the opportunity to hear multiple Orlando bands play in one day.
Last year's local stage performers, Soulswitch, opened up the main stage followed by Birmingham's Within Reason. Both bands got the early crowd goers amped up and ready to rock. Letlive were up next and the crowd was captivated by singer Jason Butler's incredible energy level as he jumped from the stage to the crowd, and even took out an inflatable vulture by the second song. Much anticipated Atreyu hit the stage, returning to Florida from their hiatus that began in 2011. A mix of new and old songs were the perfect soundtrack for singer Alex Varkatzas to join the crowd as he spent a good portion of the show singing with fans, and even joining the mosh pit.
Even with a small delay due to technical difficulties, once California Natives Hollywood Undead took the stage, the crowd screamed along with the six-piece to their upbeat party songs. Massachusetts band Killswitch Engage played second to last for the night, and even at almost nine hours in - the crowd was buzzing with energy. Finishing out the night were headliners Rise Against from Chicago. The fans of Rise sang for over an hour with singer Tim McIlrath to their fast paced melodic rock. The band exited the stage and McIlrath returned alone with his guitar and a speech on the recent tragedies in Paris. With the attack on Parisian venue Le Bataclan having occurred just one day earlier, he spoke of having hope, as we all go to concerts to join as one and that togetherness would pull us through the dark times. He finished off with the band's well kn own acoustic "Swing Life Away" and I spotted many teary faces in the crowd. The band joined him back on stage for the encore and Rise finished the night out with not fans, but family.
Kink Festival proves in it's second year that it wi ll continue to get bigger and better. There is no doubt in my mind that after the success of the 2nd annual Kink Fest - next year will only top it! Keep an eye on http://kinkmusicfestival.com/ for next's years event - and I'll see you in the pit!