While famously known as the guitarist for New Found Glory, Chad Gilbert is also the founder of the breakfast-themed alternative music festival BreakFest, which is entering its third year.
2022’s BreakFest installment is especially significant because it is the first run since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Gilbert’s first show since his cancer-free diagnosis in January.
In December 2021, Gilbert underwent emergency surgery after being found unresponsive in his home.
After the surgery, Gilbert was diagnosed with Pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor found in the adrenal gland that can become cancerous. Since his diagnosis, he has been recovering, and he’s more than ready now to hit the stage
“I won’t be running around as much,” Gilbert said, hinting to his scars from surgery, “but I’m just excited to be back."
Gilbert came up with the idea for BreakFast after noticing young entrepreneurs opening up coffee shops and new musicians coming to Franklin.
Where country and worship music are typically prominent, Gilbert wanted to make a new taste for alternative music in the area. Franklin wound up being an ideal home.
“The idea was to combine these, sort of, young businesses opening up with the music that was around Franklin and Nashville, and build this breakfast food-themed punk festival,” Gilbert said, “just to give a different flavor than what the town is used to."
He said he hoped to create a community of musicians outside of the typical sound for the area. Since the event’s first showcase in 2018, it's aimed to create an energetic space for alternative music fans, young and old, one that accommodates the area's foodies, too.
This year’s event, while maintaining a breakfast theme, will take on a more diner aesthetic.
There will be more spacing for outside leisure, as well as the inclusion of new local vendors such as Bad Luck Burger Club, Daddy’s Dogs and Guerilla Bizkits.
The event will also be celebrating the 20th anniversaries of two headlining performers’ albums, New Found Glory’s Sticks and Stones and Further Seems Forever’s The Moon is Down.
For some, BreakFest 3 will be a dream come true.
Julia Lauren, founder and lead vocalist of local glitterpunk band The Foxies, says she has always had a passion for music.
From watching Billy Idol perform on TV to going to a Green Day concert at age 10, Lauren said she was inspired to become a musician herself and create a band.
The Foxies initially began as a solo project by Lauren in 2014 in Phoenix, Az., and soon morphed into a band after she had the opportunity to move to Nashville in 2016.
The electro-pop rock group takes inspiration from a variety of musicians ranging from No Doubt to Blondie, as well as BreakFast headliner New Found Glory.
Lauren says she aspired to play with her musical heroes one day. Now, the Foxies frontwoman, alongside guitarist Jake Ohlbaum and drummer Rob Bodley, has the opportunity to share the stage with one of those inspirations at BreakFest 3.
“When you’re young, and you have all the bands that you look up to, it’s like one day, we’re going to play with them," Lauren said. "New Found Glory was always one of those bands.
“When you’re alongside your heroes or idols, and you meet and become peers with them, that’s a moment of validation and a sense of...this passion that I had as a child is real...We got to follow our dreams...The moment that we stop following our dreams is the moment that our inner child kind of cries a bit, you know?”
BreakFest 3 kicks off Thursday at Liberty Hall at The Factory of Franklin.
For more information on the event and tickets, go to the BreakFast website.