Less Than Jake performs at Gator Stompin' kickoff event

Less Than Jake makes its first performance at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza since the mid-'90s tonight at the Gator Stompin' Kickoff Event from 6 to 9 p.m. (Courtesy of Less Than Jake)

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 1:56 p.m.

For 30-plus years, Gator Stompin' has made a mark as a fundraising pub crawl linking nightclubs and restaurants from downtown to midtown. The 2013 edition, featuring music, food and drinks at more than 70 restaurants and clubs today from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., begins with a large-size footprint at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza — where Less Than Jake headlines a special Kickoff Event concert from 6 to 9 p.m.

The performance by the Gainesville ska-rockers will be the group's first in the U.S. after returning from a European tour, and it marks a big step forward for Gator Stompin' and the Pledge 5 Foundation, which organizes the annual charity pledge-drive that raises funds for a variety of charities.

In years past, Gator Stompin' has begun with kickoff concerts, some years at multiple locations and some years with a single event. But Less Than Jake's performance at the plaza — the group's first appearance there since the mid-'90s, organizers say — will be the largest Kickoff concert in Gator Stompin' history.

“Absolutely,” says Jason Bowman, director of the Pledge 5 Foundation. “Less Than Jake is as much Gainesville as Gator Stompin' is, maybe more. So it made sense. They were [available]; I talked with them, they were excited and we're moving forward.”

Admission to this year's Kickoff concert, which features opening performances by Tom Sartori and Morning Fatty starting at 6 p.m., is included in the $40 ticket to participate in Gator Stompin' (available online at www.gatorstompin.com)

Those without Gator Stompin' tickets may still be able to attend tonight's concert through a limited number of standby tickets, which are expected to become available around 7:30 p.m. and will cost between $15 and $20, Bowman says.

The Kickoff concert also will have food trucks and vendors on hand with a variety of food and drinks, he says. “People can come out and hang out early, from 6 to 9 p.m. there. And the actual crawl will start at 9 p.m.”

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com.

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