By MELISSA SCHNEIDER
Perfectly coinciding with the next Cape Coral Bike Night, the third annual 239 Punk Ska Reggae Fest is will be hitting the streets of downtown Cape Coral for two days of non-stop original music, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12, taking place at Rack 'Em Billiards, 1011 SE 47th Terrace.
Featuring anything from ska, punk, reggae and rockabilly, the 239 Fest will be the place to be for all-original music from bands touring across the country.
"Lots of these groups are state-wide and national bands, recently finishing up tour from across the country, and going to be on our stage during the two-day show," said Andrew Gray, owner of Rack 'Em Billiards. "Rack 'Em is the only 'original music' venue between Tampa and Miami. We bring original bands in from all over the country, from reggae to metal, rockabilly, blues, jazz, you name it it's been on our stage. We've even brought bands in from other countries. Being the 'original' music venue, the 239 Fest was something I wanted to try with some of the bands. It really took off, grew and grew, and now we're up to 25 bands playing over two days. It's going to be the best one so far!"
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, catch all of these amazing groups from two stages at Rack 'Em: one inside, one out - and no cover.
"Jet Sound is providing the sound from the two stages. It's going to be a great show," Andrew said.
"This is probably one of the coolest events of the year," said Jeremy Post, bassist of the local punk rock group Code Zero, performing Friday night during the two-day show. "If you're into punk, ska or reggae - even a little bit - you're sure to have a great time. And from what I hear, this year is looking to be the biggest yet: two days with over 25 bands!"
"I realize how much passion these musicians have with their original music; the time and determination they put into it. I really respect that, and I get it. Rack 'Em has been open for 16 years, and word just traveled, and spread, and we have been offering original bands every weekend for years now - never a cover charge. We want our customers to get their money's worth and come in with no pressure."
"We love our local original music scene," Post said. "Having been a part of it for almost 10 years, and seeing the changes it has gone through, and the strenth it has gained over the last few years, it has been a great experience. It's great to see the recognition original bands in this area are finally getting. The fans are the drive as to why we do this. Without them, there are no great shows."
The two-day event is sponsored by Budweiser, Coca Cola, 96.1 K-ROCK, Jet Sound, Ska Spot, Edison Custom Tags And Tees, JJ Taylor, Circus Arts and others.
Rack 'Em is a full-service bar, offering beer, wine and liquor, as well as a great spot to get in a few games of pool.
Gray concluded, "It's been a great time over the past few years. With so many great, original groups and no cover charge, people can really come by and get a feel for something new and original."
"Be sure to come out to the 239 FEST Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12. There will be lots neat surprises and a few from us Code Zero! As local, original-music musicians, we want to be sure to take a second to mention how awesome Andy (Andrew Gray) is and Rack 'Em for hosting this, and all of the amazing bands who are taking the time out of their lives to perform for the fans and, of course the fans without whom we would just be puppets playing to an empty room."
For more information on the upcoming 239 Fest, or to RSVP, visit Facebook and search for "239 Punk/Ska/Reggae Fest."