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WMNF suspending Tropical Heatwave music festival after 35 years

The Hold Steady headlined Tropical Heatwave in 2014.

The Hold Steady headlined Tropical Heatwave in 2014.



Perhaps we should've seen this coming in January, when WMNF-88.5 FM announced it was moving its annual Tropical Heatwave music festival out of the Cuban Club for the first time since 1982.

Or maybe we should have seen it coming when an even bigger festival, Live Nation's Big Guava, announced it was going on hiatus due to increased competition from around the state.

Or maybe we should have known it from this year's Heatwave itself, which suffered from lackluster turnout (though no shortage of talent, as always).

Regardless, the news coming out of Ybor today isn't good: WMNF is suspending Tropical Heatwave after 35 memorable years of booking acts like Sun Ra, Bo Diddley, the Hold Steady, Dave Alvin and hundreds more.

"The festival market's just too competitive," WMNF general manager Craig Kopp said Friday, the morning after announcing the news to a group of some 40 station volunteers. "Bands that would be a couple of thousand dollars are now $10, $15, $20,000, because that's what they're paying for a third- or fourth-stage (performer) at a Bonnaroo or an Okeechobee. We can't afford to play. It's just too much money."

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[Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2016 4:24pm]


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