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GBUFO Fest brings out-of-this-world bands to Green Bay


By Janelle Fisher

City Pages Editor

A new music festival is taking place in Green Bay this weekend — GBUFO Fest, put on by the Green Bay UFO Museum and Gift Shop and organizer Tom Smith.

The event, which will take place at five venues across three days, was inspired by GonerFest, a music festival put on by Goner Records each year in Tennessee.

“I was coming back from Goner Fest 19 in Memphis, put on by Goner Records,” Smith said. “I was so blown away by the whole thing and the satellite shows and just four days of non-stop rock and roll… The whole multi-day event thing of Goner Fest is what kind of inspired me to throw a Wisconsin kind of budget take on Goner Fest.”

GBUFO Fest will kick off Friday, July 21, with concerts at GBASO (Green Bay Action Sports Organization) from 2-9 p.m. Bands on the line-up include The Crosses, Proud Parents, Zissous, Retox A.D., Beach Patrol, Sh*thole, Impetuous Riff-Raff and the French-Irish Coalition.

Also on Friday, starting at 10 p.m., Strong Come Ons, Wesley and the Boys, Baby Tyler and George’s Bush will play at Frets and Friends.

The second day of the festival, Saturday, July 22, will feature a full day of music at Badger State Brewing. Starting at noon, performances will be put on by Total H*ll, Holy Sh*t, Fret Rattles, Trash Pandas, Sick Thoughts, Mystery Girls, Guerilla Teens, Tyler Keith and the Revelations, Jeremy and the Drip Edges, Zissous, Tim Schweiger and the Middlemen, Bruiser Queen, Toadskin and the Florida Brothers Band.

The Mystery Girls’ performance, Smith said, is extra special, as the show will serve as not only a reunion for the band, but a fundraiser for a friend.

“The Mystery Girls, a band from like 20 years ago in Green Bay, is doing a reunion show,” Smith said. “So that’s kind of a big exciting thing about it, kind of like the drawing point. And they’re actually using this whole appearance and reunion to fund a friend of theirs from Milwaukee, Dave Olsen, who has ALS, and they’re donating the money they’re making and selling t-shirts of the band and donating that to him.”

On Sunday, July 23, concerts will be put on at two venues, the GBUFO Museum from 1-5 p.m. and Smashed on the Rocks in Algoma from 6:30-11:30 p.m.

Performers at GBUFO Museum will include Stinkeyes, Holly and the Nice Lions, Zissous and Robits.

Smashed on the Rocks will serve as the venue for Jinksie, Zissous, Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones and Onions.

Hue Blanc’s Joyless One’s, which Smith described as “the pride of Algoma” also holds a special spot in the line-up as the anticipated first release of GBUFO’s soon-to-be started record label.

“GBUFO is starting a record label, and Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones is probably going to be our first release,” Smith said.

As anticipation builds for this year’s event, Smith said he is already looking ahead to next year’s GBUFO Fest, hoping to make it an annual occurrence.

Smith said he already has some bands lined up for next year’s event, and noted that the performers will likely be different each year to make sure more bands get the opportunity to perform and attendees will get to see something new year after year.

“It’s going to change every year because a lot of the local bands, if they play this year we’re not going to have them next year so some other local band can get a chance,” he said. “I think every year is going to be a whole different thing, which is kind of cool.”

Most of the GBUFO Fest shows will be free to attend, with the exception of the Saturday show at Badger State Brewing, which is $20 if tickets are purchased in advance or $25 at the door.

More details about GBUFO Fest can be found on GBUFO Museum’s Facebook page.

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