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Today’s Mixtape Festival: 8 bands you need to know

These days, it seems like everywhere you turn, someone is talking about a music festival. There are the big ones, like Coachella and Bamboozle, but then there are tons of great festivals happening on a smaller level. Enter the first annual Today’s Mixtape Festival, taking place on Long Island, NY July 6th-8th. Organized by East Coast Collective, the festival showcases a strong do-it-yourself ethic both in the way it’s run and the bands playing. The shows and afterparties of the festival literally read like a mixtape, covering everything from metal to hip hop, pop punk to DJ’s.

Headlining the festival are Long Island metal act Bela Kiss with a one-time reunion on Day 1, pop punk saviors The Wonder Years on Day 2, and the aggressive punk of Such Gold on Day 3. Day 1 and 2 (July 6th and 7th) will take place at Ollie’s Point with Day 3 (July 8th) at the Ethical Humanist Society, as well as a pre-show and afterparties at Broadway Bar. While Day 2 and 3-day passes are already sold out, tickets are still available for the other days here.

With an abundance of both national and local acts playing, Today’s Mixtape Festival absolutely cannot be missed. Staff writers Alexa Gallo and Alyssa McKinley will be in attendance and have chosen some bands that you should be sure to check out, whether you’re able to attend or not.


Pop punk bands may be a dime a dozen these days, but few upcoming acts stand out as much as Bellwether do. Releasing The Elephant in the Room EP last year, the band has quickly been gaining momentum and hope to expand that by heading out on the Today’s Mixtape Tour  this summer with American Verse and Second To Last. With relatable lyrics and upbeat music, these Long Island natives are sure to incite a hometown show full of plenty of singalongs at Day 2 of the festival.


There is no place more appropriate for Coasta to play one of the first shows of their career than at a festival that epitomizes the improvement of the Long Island scene. Coasta recently released a flawless self-titled EP that has already  received  a fair amount of buzz and caught the attention of Run For Cover Records. Frontman Jamey Lacey (yes, Jesse’s little bro) has an electrifying passion in his vocals that when paired with the band’s  alternative  rock sound creates something brilliant that the scene has been missing for years. If you hadn’t heard of Coasta before, you now have absolutely no reason to check them out. If their live show proves to be even half as impressive as their recordings, their Day 3 performance will be a must-see.


With the release of their extremely impressive debut full length on Rise Records, Daytrader have expanded their popularity far beyond their Long Island roots. Home again for Today’s Mixtape Fest alongside their most recent tourmates The Wonder Years and Mixtapes, these guys are not to be missed. Playing the raw, natural breed of alternative rock the scene was used to in the early 2000’s, Daytrader are leading a wave of new bands who are reviving the sound that Long Island was once notorious for.

The Front Bottoms

There’s no wondering why these fresh-faced Jersey natives have quickly gained public fandom from a list of soon-to-be peers that includes Kevin Devine to Adam Lazzara. With the 2011 release of their self-titled full length, The Front Bottoms are stealing more hearts by the hour. Their contagious, danceable indie rock is as indescribably wonderful as their live experience is. With each candid lyric delivered with vigor by frontman Brian Sella backed by an unbelievable explosion of sound you won’t believe is coming from only two other live bandmates, The Front Bottoms provide an unbelievable time for old fans and new faces alike.


Mixtapes are living proof that simple works best sometimes, especially in the world of pop punk.  The quirky personality of the band shines through with sometimes humorously honest lyrics and an unmatchable energy. Mixtapes’ popularity in the blogosphere has catapulted with the recent release of their new full length Even On The Worst Nights, and deservingly so. You won’t want to miss their set at Today’s Mixtape – a chance to see Mixtapes live is like the chance to party with awesome people who happen to play music that is equally as awesome.


What’s a summer music festival without a little ska? Nix86 play tunes that draw on classic ska and punk music and add a modern twist. There are prominent dual vocals and fans of The Wonder Years may encounter a familiar face – their saxophone player is TWY tour manager John Ryan. If their upbeat songs don’t get you dancing on your feet, their unique cover of Korn’s “Freak On A Leash” is sure to grab your attention.

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die

If the outlandish extensiveness of their name doesn’t leave you in awe, your first listen to their music will. Taking experimental and ambient elements and combining them with melodious indie rock, the band makes their sound their own. Though signed to Topshelf Records, TWIABP give all their music away for free on Bandcamp, making them a perfect fit for the more punk-leaning Day 3 of the festival. Judging by their social networking sites, the band loves sarcasm and it’d be no surprise if they bring those quick-witted comments into their live show.

With The Punches

If you’re looking for high energy, fast-paced pop punk then With The Punches is the band for you. Having just toured Japan with Mayday Parade and Every Avenue, the band is now back stateside and gearing up for the release of their new album Seams & Stiches on Doghouse Records. These New Yorkers know how to bring that energy from their records into a live show, so be prepared to see lots of jumping and enthusiasm when they play on Day 2.

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