Antiwarpt alternatives: Don't Stop St. Pete, Plan B music festivals will square off on Oct. 5
For the last couple of years, St. Petersburg's Antiwarpt festival has been one of the bright spots of the local music scene, with dozens of local and national acts taking over the 'Burg for a day and night of good music and vibes.
All that ended earlier this year, when squabbles over the festival's name and future led to a split in the ranks of its founders.
The two music festivals will go head to head against one another on Oct. 5, with Don't Stop St. Pete scheduled for venues around St. Pete, and the just-announced Plan B set for venues around Ybor City.
The details for both festivals are still in the works, but what do we know so far? Let's size 'em up:
Helmed by Antiwarpt co-founder Anna Serena, Don't Stop St. Pete will bring more than 60 bands to eight or more venues around the 'Burg, including two outdoor stages and the State Theatre. The event has the backing of SweetWater Brewing and other businesses and organizations, and will also include vendors, a fashion show and a kickoff party on Oct. 4. Of the nearly two dozen bands that have been announced so far, nationals Murder By Death and Black Taxi are the biggest names. But many popular local and Florida artists are lined up, including Sons of Hippies, Jensen Serf Co., Red Feather and the Wholetones. The festival's mission statement: "Featuring tons of bands from the Tampa Bay area and beyond, Don't Stop is the area's largest music festival." Tickets are $8-$15; click here to get them.
The other half of the Antiwarpt brain trust, the guys from Brokenmold Entertainment, are throwing this festival at venues around Ybor City, including Crowbar, New World Brewery and more. The festival promises "over 50 of Florida's best 'unknown' bands," and Brokenmold's Phil Benito said they're discussing adding some national acts. There are a slew of popular locals on the bill, headlined by a reunion performance by Sleepy Vikings (above), including departed drummer Ryann Slauson. Nervous Turkey, Empire Cinema, Auto!Automatic!!, Wolf-Face, Feral Babies, Saskatchewan, the Woolly Bushmen, Florida Night Heat, Alexander and the Grapes, Lauris Vidal, Sunbears!, Zulu Wave and many more are already booked. Advance tickets are $10. Click here for details.
Wherever you stand on the Antiwarpt debate, this puts most local music fans (and bands) in an awkward position. Do you spend your day in St. Pete or Tampa? Will one festival "win" the weekend, or will both draw enough fans to stay afloat for years to come?
There are a lot of questions and answers still to come before October. We'll see how both fests shake out.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*