WMNF Tropical Heatwave lineup: Ra Ra Riot, James McMurtry, more; concert moving out of Cuban Club
The Gasparilla Music Festival wasn't the only eclectic rock festival dropping its lineup on Friday.
WMNF-88.5's long-running Tropical Heatwave festival rolled out the first major wave of artists on its 2016 lineup, and it's headlined by the same act that headlined the inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival back in 2012: New York indie rockers Ra Ra Riot, who will release their fourth album Need Your Light in February.
Joining them on the bill for the 35th annual Tropical Heatwave, April 30 in Ybor City, are Americana rocker James McMurtry; Austin, Texas psych-rockers the Bright Light Social Hour; British punk Wreckless Eric; North Carolina electro-rock fusionists the Mantras; and gypsy rock troupe Caravan of Thieves.
But the most interesting part of WMNF's lineup announcement might be that the festival is moving from its longtime home, the Cuban Club, into "the clubs of Ybor City."
Grammy-nominated rock band Alabama Shakes have a concert at the Cuban Club the night before, on April 29, and WMNF program director Randy Wynne said it would be impossible to tear down that show and set up for Tropical Heatwave in one day.
"For a long time we have thought about making Heatwave more of an Ybor festival and this pushed us along," Wynne said in an email. There will be more than 40 bands spread across eight stages, but Wynne said the station still isn't certain of all the venues.
The rest of this year's Tropical Heatwave lineup is fleshed out with many local notables, as well as a few more nationals: Mingo Fishtrap, Dash Rip Rock, Peterson Brothers Band, Stokeswood, Get Right Band, Trae Pierce and the T-Stone Band, Max Norton, UNRB, Matt Woods, Big Shoals, Pete Gallagher, Kelly Green, Fay Roy and Flat Land. More acts will be added in the coming weeks.
While Tropical Heatwave traditionally takes place at the Cuban Club, WMNF said this year it “moves to the clubs of Ybor City.” No other details about a location were available late Friday — all we know is it’ll feature more than 40 bands on eight stages around Ybor City.
Early bird tickets are on sale now for just $25 through Feb. 2. Click here to get them.
-- Jay Cridlin