Gasparilla Music Festival organizers talk about growing the festival, redefining Tampa and more
The Gasparilla Music Festival has been one of the biggest success stories of the Tampa music scene in recent years, with two consecutive well-attended, well-reviewed events drawing thousands of fans to Curtis Hixon Park.
On March 8 and 9, the festivall will return bigger than ever, with double the bands on two days instead of one. To mark the occasion, tbt*'s Bill Duryea sat down with three of the festival's key players — executive director Ty Rodriguez, GMF president Phil Benito and board member John Wakefield — to discuss what makes something a Tampa event, downtown Tampa as a vacation destination and more.
"If you're asking did we want to go out and change the landscape of music in this city, absolutely that was always a goal of ours," Rodriguez said. "But it wasn't just changing the landscape of music but changing the landscape of the city in general. I've said it before, but to this day, the greatest compliment we ever got was from people we've grown up with who turned to us and said, "I've never been more proud of my city than the last couple of days.'"
For more with the organizers of the Gasparilla Music Festival, click here for Bill's interview.