Sunday, November 19, 2017
Features and More

Sunset Music Festival to transform Raymond James Stadium lot into massive nightclub

RECOMMENDED READING


The last time John Santoro staged an outdoor electronic music festival, in 2007 at St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, it drew about 5,000 people.

"It was a very localized community," he said of his audience. "I thought it was a good give-back, and I just wanted to do something. I wanted to do festivals."

Oh, how times have changed. When a revived Sunset Music Festival hits Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, organizers are hoping for a crowd of 15,000 — and not just from Tampa Bay, but from Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, even Georgia and the Carolinas.

"Doing an electronic festival two years ago compared to right now is just two different worlds," said Santoro, an electronic music promoter and owner of the Amphitheatre nightclub in Ybor City.

Indeed, just as the timing of the last Sunset Music Festival may have been less than ideal, the decision to revive it couldn't be savvier. Every major festival in America, from Coachella to Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, lists at least one DJ among its headliners, such as Skrillex, Justice, Calvin Harris or Avicii. Pretty Lights, the top-billed name at Saturday's event, is coming straight to Tampa from the Sasquatch Festival in Washington.

The ravelike nature of electronic festivals calls for large, unconventional venues, and Santoro said that Raymond James Stadium and the Tampa Sports Authority were eager to work with him. City and Sports Authority officials had some questions — first aid, noise attenuation, keeping festivalgoers hydrated — but on the whole, "they got it right off the bat," Santoro said.

Organized in conjunction with Disco Donnie, which has produced huge festivals like Orlando's Electric Daisy Carnival and the Nocturnal Wonderland in Texas, the festival will have continuous music on three stages in the North lot of RayJay — a mainstage for house, trance and progressive (Pretty Lights, Paul van Dyk); a stage for dubstep and electro (Datsik, Dirtyphonics); and a stage for Florida artists.

Among the artists on that last one: DJ Junior, a.k.a. Santoro's 6-year-old son John Jr.

"The kid is smooth — he has the rhythm," Santoro says. "He practices a couple of hours a day, at least two to three times a week." He even spins at the Amphitheatre.

With kids that young getting into electronic music, it's no wonder Santoro believes the genre will be going strong for the next decade.

"I think we're catching it at the right time, because electronic is blowing up more than any other music segmentation right now," he said. "And we're feeling it. Every single show we're doing is, if not sold out, almost sold out. The kids are very excited about this music."

Comments
Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

TAMPAWhile her teenage daughter and 6-year-old son glided effortlessly across the outdoor ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park on Friday, Danielle Engram, 35, stood nervously on her rented blades.This would be the lifelong Tampa resident’s first time on the...
Published: 11/17/17
With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy’s balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects ...
Published: 11/17/17
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.   From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Published: 11/17/17
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Ideas for sidesThese recipes go beyond the traditional, with a corn casserole, Brussels sprout salad and moreSee what our food ed...
Published: 11/17/17
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Published: 11/17/17
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Published: 11/17/17
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Published: 11/17/17
How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

As far as we’re concerned, anything you can make in advance of actual Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, and this make-ahead gravy fits the bill. Plus, Tucker Shaw of America’s Test Kitchen says it tastes just as good as if you made it wi...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts. New York Times Put some thought into the menu What leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they t...
Published: 11/17/17