365 Things to Do in Memphis #259: Gonerfest

365 Things to Do in Memphis #259: Gonerfest 20

Hear the sounds! Smell the smells! Drink the beer! Assignment #259 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to go check out Gonerfest, Memphis' annual indie, punk and garage rock festival.

Gonerfest returns this year for its 20th edition and to celebrate the 20 years of Memphis' very own rock label Goner Records. Every September, they bring several dozen bands from around the world to Memphis for four days of punk, garage, soul shows and more.

This year's festival takes place in Memphis' Railgarten from Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1, 2023. Peep the exciting lineup below! Osees will headline Thursday, The Gories on Friday and The Mummies (the whole band literally dresses up as mummies) on Saturday.

lineup and flyer for Gonerfest

Between Thursday and Sunday night's closing dance party more than 20 bands will perform at Railgaten, a sprawling outdoor venue and bar just up the street from Cooper Young on Central Avenue. 

UPDATE - 6/5/23

Gonerfest announced another round of band additions to this year's festival: Poison Ruin (Philadelphia), Horsegirl (Chicago), The Exbats (Bisbee, AZ), Jack of Heart (France/Switzerland), Rising Stars Fife & Drum (Holly Springs, MS), Morgan & the Organ Donors (Portland, OR), Trampoline Team (New Orleans), and Optic Sink (Memphis).

Chubby & The Gang unfortunately are no longer able to attend from the original lineup.

Single day tickets will go on sale June 15 at noon!

Here's the full schedule

For Memphians, the festival is a chance to see some of the best garage bands from far away places—this year as far as Australia (multiple bands), Netherlands (Lewsberg), and Japan (The Smog). 

Gonerfest in Memphis - Craig Thompson

For the hundreds of out of towners who flock here every year, it's a rare chance to see some of Memphis' finest (Ibex Clone, Laundry Bats, Cool Jerks, and more). In between sets, Railgarten and Goner will keep the beat going with DJs. 

Gonerfest 20 tickets go on sale now. Golden Passes, which allow entry to all official GF20 events, are $130. Single-day passes will be available at the door, according to venue capacity. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.

While there's just two main venues for the "official" festival, there are plenty of afterparties around town. I will add them here as they are announced. In the meantime, listen to the Gonerfest 20 playlist.

Alex Greene over at the Memphis Flyers has a great cover story on Gonerfest 19.

Go there:

Gonerfest 20
Sept. 28- Oct. 1

2166 Central Ave.

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