2013 Ribfest lineup: REO Speedwagon, Gin Blossoms, Josh Thompson and more
It seems like a new festival pops up every other weekend in Tampa Bay, from the Gasparilla Music Festival to the Sunset Music Festival. But let's not forget about the old-timers, the stalwart fests that have been around for decades. Festivals like the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Tropical Heatwave ... and Ribfest.
Yes, Ribfest. If you believe some estimates, it's the most popular annual musical event in Tampa Bay, with more than 50,000 in attendance over the course of a three-day, pig-filled weekend. That number has always seemed high to us, but maybe we just had our faces buried in a pile of pork.
This year's 25th anniversary of Ribfest will take place Nov. 8-10 in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, and the initial lineup has just been posted to the Ribfest website. Classic rockers REO Speedwagon will take the stage on Friday night, and '90s rockers Gin Blossoms and Sister Hazel will share top billing on Saturday. Sunday is country day, so look for Josh Thompson (above), Randy Houser and Justin Moore to pack a tonk-honkin' 1-2-3 punch. Expect more acts to be added in the coming weeks.
This year's Ribfest will go head-to-head (on Saturday, at least) against the inaugural Coastline Festival in Tampa. However, that probably won't be a problem for either event, as your humble Soundcheck editor is probably the only person in Tampa Bay who really wants to see both Passion Pit and the Gin Blossoms.
Tickets will go on sale to the public on Sept. 24. Prices have not been announced. Ribfest's website is still a work in progress -- there are still a lot of references to 2012 on there -- but you can expect it to be updated as the event draws near.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*