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Spring festival preview: Sunset Music Festival, Funshine Music Festival, Funk Fest and more



There's a festival going on this weekend in Tampa Bay. Have you heard? Of course you have. From the Gasparilla Music Festival to Wild Splash to the Strawberry Festiva, there's live, large-scale outdoor music in every corner of Tampa Bay on Saturday. Here's a guide to the best local festivals in town through May:

Florida Strawberry Festival: Through Sunday, you can catch country heavyweights like Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes and Scotty McCreery in Plant City. Click here for full details.

Gasparilla Music Festival: Dawes (above), Best Coast, the Meter Men with Page McConnell, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Lord Huron and Ozomatli are among the many bands at this year's fest. Click here for our preview.

Wild Splash: 94.1's annual hip-hop festival hits Clearwater's Coachman Park on Saturday with Meek Mill, Juvenile, Juicy J and others. Click here.

Tampa Bay Blues Festival: Jonny Lang, Dickey Betts and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are this year’s headliners, but there will be plenty of afterparties late into the night. It’s April 12-14 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $35 per day, $90 for the weekend.

98 Rockfest: Alice in Chains, Stone Sour and Three Days Grace headline 98 Rock’s annual hard rock and metal bash on April 26 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tickets start at $29.

Funk Fest: The annual funk, soul and R&B festival never quite gelled at St. Pete’s Vinoy Park, so this year it’s moving to Tampa’s Curtis Hixon. Anthony Hamilton, Keyshia Cole and Salt-n-Pepa are your headliners. It’s May 3-4; tickets start at $40 per day, $65 for both days.

Funshine Music Festival: Lots of eyes will be on this new festival, May 3-5 at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Train, Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Styx and Ted Nugent are among the biggest names, but there will also be more than 60 carnival rides up and running. General admission tickets are $20 per day.

Tropical Heatwave: WMNF-88.5’s eclectic annual festival this year expands to two days, May 10-11 in Ybor City. Among the names to leak out so far are WMNF favorite Paul Thorn and blues singer-guitarist Ana Popovic. Single-day tickets are $20-$35; weekend passes are $40-$50.

Sunset Music Festival: So far, only one DJ, Steve Aoki, has been announced for the sophomore edition of this electronic music bash, but last year’s drew big names (Pretty Lights) and a big, neon crowd. Expect more of the same. It’s May 25 at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets start at $59.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:12pm]


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