Category Archives: Festivals

Add Island Hopper Fest, songwriter contest to list of great Florida music events

Island Hopper Fest image

Island Hopper Fest image from Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel (video snip)

Florida is one of the nation’s largest states and we’re a popular tourist destination, so it’s no surprise we have a lot of music going on. Add Island Hopper Fest to the mix of great music events in the Sunshine State.

This is only the fourth year for the festival, but it looks like it will have a long shelf life. Performers will be featured at venues including Captiva Island, Downtown Fort Myers, and Fort Myers Beach September 22-October 1.

There’s a contest for aspiring songwriter-performers who can vie for a chance to perform.  Continue reading

Key West Songwriters Festival to feature more than 200 performers

Key West Songwriters Festival

Snip/Key West Songwriters Festival

The Key West Songwriters Festival will feature more than 200 performers and untold numbers of music fans who will converge on the island May 9-13, 2018.

The performers are selected by organizations like BMI, so there’s a selection process that may take some time.  Continue reading

Band Mom: Hat tip to organizers and volunteers at Blue Crab Festival

Palatka 2017 Blue Crab Festival

Palatka’s annual Blue Crab Festival featured lots of crafts, food, and bands.

Palatka’s Blue Crab Festival over Memorial Day weekend drew lots of people to the small town known for festivals, views of the mighty St. John’s River, and hospitality. That last was obvious as soon as we arrived to hear the Crazy Daysies and other bands scheduled for Saturday.  Continue reading

Band Mom: Heading to our first ever Blue Crab Festival

Blue Crab Festival banner

Promo banner for Blue Crab Festival. (via Facebook)

Today the Blue Crab Festival in Palatka kicks off its 29th annual event with live music, just about any kind of seafood you’d want, and arts and crafts vendors. There will be carnival rides and games. There’s even an adopt-a-duck event.  What’s not to like?  Continue reading

Headliner concerts may go with shorter sets, more special effects

Community First Seawalk Music Festival

Attendees arrived early for the Community First Seawalk Music Festival at Jacksonville Beach. Organizers presented a mix of indie and well known bands. Josh Turner closed out the concert. (Photo: Rebecca Day/The Crazy Daysies)

Recently I heard criticism from some folks who’d attended an outdoor concert here in Jacksonville. Our weather was iffy. The concert featuring a long list of established performers had to be briefly evacuated because of weather. And because that meant lost time, the top performers my friends had gone to see didn’t take the stage anywhere near on time.

Have you had a bad ‘big concert’ experience?  Continue reading

How can artists and craftsmakers deal with Florida wildfire smoke at outdoor events?

crafstmakers at festival

Craftsmakers at festivals know what it’s like to contend with weather. (Photo: Indie Art South)

Is there anything more inspiring to an artist than a beautiful Florida day? Despite a long run of fair weather, quite a few of us find ourselves with a bit of cabin fever these days. Why?

Wildland fires. What can you do if you’re trying to perform as smoke wafts across the stage?  Continue reading

Band Mom: My first ever Possum Festival unleashed trove of memories

Rexall Drugstore at Heritage Park in Macclenny, FL.

Rexall Drugstore at Heritage Park in Macclenny, FL.

I never know what to expect from a venue when I head out of town to hear my daughters perform. Sometimes the distance is great; other times, it’s close to home. On Saturday, a 40-minute drive to Macclenny (FL) landed me in Heritage Park Village where the Possum in the Park Festival was held.

I always enjoy local festivals, and I am always surprised by something. But this one was different. As I walked into this park in a town where the population is roughly 6,000, I was not prepared for the treasure trove of memories a single sign and some buildings evoked.

That single sign said ‘Rexall.’  Continue reading

The Crazy Daysies Rebecca Day (left) and Jennifer Day Thompson (right) with Wes Goode on lead and vocals, Josh Cobb on bass and Chris Sands on drums.

Band Mom: Seawalk Festival put Florida musicians in spotlight

Seawalk Community First Festival

The crowd began to gather early at Seawalk Community First Festival.

I’ve often joked to my husband I can hear good music at a number of places in Florida on a given night, and I don’t have to pay $100 for concert tickets. Community First Seawalk Music festival this past weekend at Jacksonville Beach validated my claim.

The festival featured ten bands and closed with country star Josh Turner.

Chiara Blair (center) with daughters Ciera King (left) and Ammie King (right)

Chiara Blair (center) with daughters Ciera King (left) and Ammie King (right) came to Jacksonville Beach to see the Crazy Daysies at the Seawalk Community First Festival.

The Crazy Daysies opened the festival on Saturday. They were followed by Mama Blue whose voice does for the blues what honey does for toast. All the bands received compliments—some I heard first hand and some can be viewed on the Festival’s Facebook page.

Surfdog Photography did photos for the festival; you can see those on Facebook too.

Lots of people from the community came out, and I think there were some out of towners as well. I heard one young woman who was exiting a nearby hotel tell her friend, “I didn’t know they did stuff like this here.”

Festivals like this are a true community gathering spot. All sorts of people came out—from young to old, to enjoy the incredibly beautiful weather, the music, vendors with very unique goods, and the beach.

I was busy trying to take some photos and videos of the Daysies and their bandmates, and also trying to make sure to speak to everyone who came out to hear the band. But in between, I really enjoyed myself. It’s a must-go festival if you can—you can hear a thousand dollars worth of music for free over a two-day period.

Rebecca Day and the band ended their opening performance by singing happy birthday to a very special guest who traveled with her family from Georgia to see the Daysies. Focusing on the Southeast right now, the band has done lots of singing and performing around the state of Georgia.

The Daysies head to Thomasville, Georgia this weekend to do two back to back performances as a duo at Cream of the Crop at South Eden Plantation.

[Photos by Indie Art South]

(KBD/March 2, 2017)

People at Rotary Discovery Fest in Ocala Florida

Ocala Rotary’s Cracker Cattle Drive put the fest in festival

cowboy on horse with cell phone

Loved seeing the cowboy checking his phone while riding his horse. (Photo: IAS)

One of the most unique festivals I’ve been to is this past weekend’s Rotary Discovery Fest Cracker Cattle Drive and Cowboy Roundup. The city of Ocala goes all out to support the festival, and it’s one of the most heavily attended I’ve been to.

What sets this festival apart? (Story continues after photos) Continue reading

Seasoned in Nashville, Jason Evans aims for ‘stomp those boots’

Jason Evans gets ready to perform at Calavida. (Photo: IndieArtSouth)

Jason Evans gets ready to perform at Calavida. (Photo: IndieArtSouth)

Jason Evans is a seasoned veteran of Nashville, having played with country stars having and co-written popular songs.

Now Evans has returned to Florida, doing gigs with his band and aiming for music that makes fans want to “stomp those boots.”  Continue reading