But that is not the whole story. As the event was still playing out - bands killing their sets, people meeting and making friends, and burgers slowly sizzling on the grill - the NoiseBlog was pounding the pavement to find out what people thought.
Band members and patrons alike had plenty to say and the conversations ranged from down to earth to out of this world. In the end, it simplified to three informative questions:
- Why did You Come to Hopefest?
- What do you hope to see come out of Hopefest?
- What do you think it’ll take to get more people involved with helping their communities?
Ultimately, there was a lesson to be learned, so without further adue: Your thoughts at Hopefest 2016.
Why did You Come to Hopefest?
Steven O’Day - Aera Cura:
“I'm here to check out all the bands. There hasn't been a really big local show, I'd like to say, for a while. And it's amazing that there's so many local bands that are still active and playing such awesome shows. And Forthteller are awesome for putting the show on.”
Jared Bytautas - Encripted
“Definitely one of the coolest things that has happened in Tampa in a long time and so many great amazing local bands coming out and you know, playing the show for such a great cause and this whole show is going to be amazing; so many bands I haven't checked out [or] even heard before and so far the show's been absolutely amazing and you know I'm just... can't wait for the rest of the show to happen.”
So what brought you here to Hopefest?J.P. Mojica:
“Well considering that i’ve been in the local scene for about 5, 6 years at this point, I made a lot of friends including the guys running the show in Forthteller and The Noise Box and everything. And then I’m friends with a lot of the bands here: I thought it was a perfect time to come through.
And Also like: it’s $10 online with the sale thing and then and $20 dollars regardless. For 35 bands that’s a perfect deal.”
Cody Yoder - Untomoria:
“I’m really really excited to be a part of this. Its an awesome event awesome bands a great cause. I had a family member that passed away from cancer and a friend that is just getting over leukemia. It just feels good to be part of an event that’s helping out and you know trying to do something right.”
What do you hope to see come out of Hopefest?
Nate - Chlover:
“It’s a good way for everyone to let out their frustrations: it’s a good place, It’s a good environment in there: everyone’s friendly, everyone’s together, this makes everyone come together. We got people coming from Jacksonville, you got people who came from Orlando, got people who came from Miami. This is a good cause: brings people in.”
Where would you want to see people go out from here?
“I mean… I want everyone to stay this close. That’s for start.”
“I feel like a lot more of the awareness portion of the show is what’s going to be important to everything. Because obviously everyone knows that cancer has been a negative thing, constantly, for God knows how long.
However, people don’t realize how easy it is to help out and how easy it is to spread the word and make sure that people know how to prevent this and how to help stop it in some way” shape or form.”
“We’re bringing people together for a good cause, just [forgetting] everything that’s been going on for the past few weeks: the election and all this other bullshit that’s going on in the world. Come together, raising money for a good cause. And throwing down, that’s the best part of it.”
Refocusing on what’s important?
“That’s really what it is. You know, focusing on helping other people, not just focusing on ourselves and helping only ourselves.”
You think that’s something a lot of people miss?
“Yeah, all the time. People are really only out for themselves. They really only care about themselves and I feel like, donating $20 bucks to charity is a good thing to do, you know? Just do it.
People don’t realize if you’re gonna donate to charity, why not go do something you like?
Raise money for something, people go [throw down] and you can pay $20, donate to charity, help find a cure for cancer.”
“It’s for a good cause; people wanna help for a good cause. There’s a lot of positive people that are being overshadowed by the negative people. So a lot of people don’t see the good things. This is a good thing.”
“I think, it's going to help raise a lot of money today. And that money is going to go towards, maybe helping people get the treatment they need.
Money is definitely not the whole answer. [For] a lot of people, realizing how much of a problem it is, is probably a good start.”
“I definitely think a lot of people just try to pretend it doesn't exist. Until it happens to them.
Stuff like this is a good start. There's a lot of people that wouldn't even think about it if the show wasn't connected to it.”
Do you think there’s anything else people can do besides donating?
“Volunteer at shelters, volunteer around, help your community out. That’s the best thing we can do. Best thing you can do. [You] can make a difference in this world.”
How do we make that an aspect of our culture as a whole?
“Honestly I don’t know. People are selfish by design and unless you’re motivated by something… I dunno.”
What do you think it’ll take to get more people involved with helping their communities?
“There's definitely a lot more that you can do. There's a lot of charities out there and there's many ways for people to donate. It's just this is one of the very fun ways of doing it.
I'll tell something a little bit personal: actually our guitarist's step-dad recently passed away due to cancer. So it's nice to see that there's still events going on like this that raises not just awareness but also money to fund research and such.”
“It's great 'cause like I lost a grandmother over cancer, you know, a lot of people lose a loved one over cancer. So just people coming out even for something fun like this... It's going to a great cause and there's so much [more] people can do for volunteering. [It] doesn't even have to be with money. Just helping out is such a great thing.”
“Well yeah, it’s very easy. Like you could just log into any website that provides a donation button and you could do it. But the hard part is the motivation to do so. Which many people don’t really have because they have the intention of keeping as much money as they have, considering the sort of world that we’re living in nowadays.”
What about the people who don’t have money, people … or don’t have time?
“If they don’t then they let people know who do have the time, and do have the money.”
So you could do anything at any level to help?
“You can do anything at any level to help. Always.”
“Well definitely one way to do it is by being proactive and being the person to take the initiative. You know, go out to shows, go do volunteer work - and such.
I actually suffer from a stomach disease: crohn's disease. And when I first got sick I was a literally in the hospital for weeks and weeks and weeks. And a bunch of my friends, actually at my high school, banded together and came and saw me, visited me and you know, kept my spirits high. It’s stuff like that, you know, it just takes one person to get a bigger group to make more of a cause.”
So there it is: your thoughts on Hopefest. It seems the event was successful in more ways than one: a lot of money and awareness raised for cancer, but perhaps the bigger ripple is yet to come as hearts and minds started ponder what they need to do to make the world they want to live in.
Oh and keep your eyes peeled for Hopefest 2017!