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South of the Skyway: Vinyl Music Fest spins into Sarasota




When you think of the Sarasota music scene, you automatically think of DJs from around the world spinning block-rocking beats at rooftop parties and soirees on yachts.

Wait, no. That doesn’t sound right at all.

But this weekend, that‚Äôll be the case, as some 30 DJs will descend upon 12 venues around ‚ÄôSota for the first Vinyl Music Festival, a four-day weekend of house, electro, hip-hop and techno music.

"Sarasota is a community full of enthusiasm when it comes to creativity," said Matt Orr, an event spokesman and the co-owner of business incubator The Hub, one of the groups behind the festival. "we have high-end arts ... opera, symphony, ballet, that type of thing. But we have a gap that needs to be filled, which are these creative types of festivals."

Billed as the Gulf Coast‚Äôs first electronic music fest (although that's not quite true, as anyone who attended Sunset a couple of years ago at Vinoy Park could tell you), the event was originally scheduled to be just a single DJ playing at one club in Sarasota. But Orr says the concept grew and grew, with more and more businesses offering to get involved, and in the span of just 45 days, the Vinyl Music Festival expanded into a city-wide event.

Parties will take place at clubs and venues around Sarasota, including Esca, Horsefeathers, the Lido Beach Resort and, yes, yachtside at a VIP party at a sandbar between South Lido Key and Siesta Key. (The DJs will be on pontoons, and boats will be able to pull up and party.)

The festival's headliners include globe-trotting electronic artists like top house DJ Paul Mendez, top electro DJ Drager, blonde pinup Diamond, above, and Master Jay (not to be confused, of course, with the late Jam Master Jay). Some local electronic artists, including DaLish, Sinna-G, This Is An Adventure and KConn, will also be on hand.

This is music that's likely to appeal more at hardcore electronic music fans than casual clubgoers. But any one of the parties at any one of the venues would make for a pretty fun night out. And the two big afternoon beach parties on Saturday and Sunday -- should be packed.

Festival passes, which get you into events at the main venues, are $20. VIP tickets, which you'll need for the most exclusive bashes, are $50. You can get them here. And here’s a schedule of performances.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 11:00am]


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