Food, Concessions & HeartSupport

The HeartSupport Festival takes place at the Center Florida Fair Grounds. It is a 30 minute drive from the Airport or a 15 minute walk from the nearest hotel. Parking is a reasonable $20 and merch as well as food, ranging from wood fired pizza to Venezuelan, are standard festival prices. There were only two stages, but there are no overlapping sets. Most starting immediately after the previous band ended, and it's a minute or two walk from one to the other. There aren't just porter potties, they also have full restrooms for general admission. Being this is the very first HeartSupport Fest, it was beyond organized.


Opening HeartSupport Fest, Currents has one job and that is to get the blood pumping. The band opened with "Monsters" and "Into Despair". You can tell Currents is a fan favorite by the crowd response. Current's drummer, Matt Young, is a machine behind the kit. It's always a pleasure to see him play. They played a short 20 minute set leaving us wanting more! A perfect way to start the day!

Bleed From Within

"We have been a band for 17 years, and this is the first time we have been here". -Scott Kennedy (Vocals)

Glasgow, Scotland's BLEED FROM WITHIN had the set of the day and the very first wall of death at HSF. I had to go fact check him, and this is actually the band's very first time playing in the United States, minus the first 3 dates of their current tour. As the heaviest band on the fest, they sounded phenomenal! BFW kept it short as well by playing only 4 songs, including "I Am Damnation" and "The End Of All We Know". Bleed From Within is on tour with August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada. Definitely don't miss it when they come to a town near you. I know I'll be at another one of their dates before the end of this tour!

He Is Legend

This band is the definition of rock n' roll! At one point, the singer tossed the microphone into the crowd!

Comeback Kid

Being one of the only hardcore bands on HSF, Comeback Kid came to play. Their energy was unmatched! The band opened with the title track off their most recent record, "Heavy Steps", and closed out with undoubtably their most known and possibly best song, "Wake The Dead!"

August Burns Red

"This isn't a festival. This is a celebration. You are allowed to be human, and sometimes we're goofy, sometimes we're messy and sometimes we're broken, but we have each other."

This might be the best set I have seen ABR play, and I've been to a lot of their shows. Singer, Jake Luhrs, is the Founder of HeartSupport. From all the times I have been fortunate enough to experience ABR, this is the absolute best Jake has ever sounded. Not sure what he's been doing differently, but it's working!

August Burns Red opened with a deep cut, "Fault Line," which was un-ironically poetic as the lyrics pave the definition of HeartSupport.

"Tell me your stories, I'll lend you my ears.

Tell me your horror, I'll make it disappear.

We all hurt, we all need. We all cry, we all bleed

We have hope."

The band continued with songs from 7 out of 9 of their records including "Empire", "White Washed" and "Composure".

Parkway Drive

This was the final date of their first tour in the states in 3 years. For a band that normally comes here multiple times a year, it feels like an eternity. Parkway recently released a documentary with ABC (Australian Broadcast Channel) about their hiatus and internal band conflicts. With the help of therapy, they appear to be happier as individuals and a team.

I have been a massive Parkway Drive fan since their second record, 'Killing With A Smile,' and it has been great to watch them grow into one of their biggest bands in all of Australia! PWD returns to the states for Blue Ridge Rock Fest in Alton, VA in September of this year.

The Ghost Inside

My history with TGI stems back to the band recording their second record, 'Returners', nearby my home town. My roommate at the time was a big fan and turned me on to them while they only had one record, 'Fury and the Fallen Ones' released. That record still holds up to this day.

It's no secret that The Ghost Inside has been through the ringer. After the 2014 bus accident that turned their lives upside down, the band made a comeback in 2019. I was fortunate enough to travel across the country last minute for their return show in Los Angeles. That was one of the best shows I've been to in my life, and their performance at HeartSupport Fest was also very special.

Playing songs from every one of their records, The Ghost Inside put their stamp on HSF. The moment their first song of the set, "Engine 45," started, the crowd was mental and it didn't stop for the next hour.

Rise Against

Socially charged, Rise Against wasted no time playing deep cuts and delivered all hits! From opening their set with "Re-Education" plus an extended intro, "The Violence" and "Architects" to ending with "Nowhere Generation," an acoustic version of "Swinging Life Away" and "Prayer of the Refuge" before their encore into "Make It Stop," and "Paper Wings."

"This sense of unity and community is something that we all have here tonight."

More To Do In Florida

If you live across the country like I do, you'll more than likely be flying in. Outside of the festival, there's plenty to do like eat at some of the best restaurants, go to Medieval Times, or one of the many gun ranges in the Orlando area. There of course is also Universal Studios and Disney World, which I stayed away from this time. If my wife was with me, there's no way I could have escaped that fate.