Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

Orange Blossom festival promoter strives to keep it low-cost, local

RECOMMENDED READING


SPRING LAKE — For the past three years, music promoter Russ Bowers has endeavored to give jam band fans an event they can sink their teeth into: a four-day romp in the outdoors featuring three dozen top-notch groups.

As a result, the Orange Blossom Jamboree has grown into one of the state's most noteworthy music festivals.

And that pleases Bowers. Although he's eager to see the event, which kicks of Thursday at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, continue to prosper, he would rather do so without having to hire high-priced national acts.

"I think keeping it a Florida-band type of thing keeps it endearing to our particular audience," said Bowers. "Every year we have about 35 bands, and most of them play at clubs and bars on weekends and have built strong followings. That's pretty much our audience."

Keeping the festival low-cost is as important to Bowers as keeping it low-key. At a time when admission to events such as the Wanee Festival in Live Oak can top $200, he can still offer a weekend worth of music and camping for about $60.

"We've always thought that our festival is what people want to make it," Bowers said. "For a lot of people, it's just a fun weekend to stretch out and relax, and just spend time with friends."

Bowers, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, said he was inspired to start the event after attending several jam band festivals in the Midwest.

The genre, which has its roots in iconic 1960s rock bands, such as the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band, has widened in recent years to embrace worldly sounds such as reggae, blues, bluegrass and jazz.

As usual, the festival will feature continuous music on two stages and will include returning groups such as Fungus Garden Reverb, Skull and Bone, Cope, the Funky Presidents, Beebs and Her Moneymakers, and the Juanajamon Band. All bands will perform for at least an hour.

In addition, about 30 vendors will sell food, beverages and handmade crafts.

Weekend passes include rough camping. RV hookups are sold out, but campers may be set up in primitive camping areas for $15.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or [email protected]

Comments
Details emerge in suicide of Hernando school volunteer accused of sexual abuse

Details emerge in suicide of Hernando school volunteer accused of sexual abuse

A former Brooksville school volunteer accused of sexually assaulting teenage foreign exchange students who were under his care was found dead last week, a day before he was due in court on the charges.The body of Bruce McAllister was found at the bas...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Updated: 22 minutes ago

Updated: 23 minutes ago
University of Tampa volleyball finds playoff form in time

University of Tampa volleyball finds playoff form in time

TAMPA — Earning an NCAA Tournament bid is usually not cause for celebration with the University of Tampa volleyball program. It has become routine.But after hitting the abyss of a 3-10 record, after players felt their confidence was shot, after coach...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Howard Altman: SS American Victory will host cruise to mark Pearl Harbor Day

Howard Altman: SS American Victory will host cruise to mark Pearl Harbor Day

Looking for a unique way to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day and celebrate the military’s nautical traditions?Check out the SS American Victory, which will set sail Dec. 2. for a two-hour cruise at 1:30 p.m.Registration will begin at noon to ride the car...
Updated: 1 hour ago
TreeUmph! navigates its own obstacle course in opening Brooksville location

TreeUmph! navigates its own obstacle course in opening Brooksville location

BROOKSVILLE — The point behind the adventure park east of Brooksville is for visitors to challenge themselves to overcome obstacles to gain a sense of personal achievement.For the owners of the tree-top adventure course known as TreeUmph!, the road t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Brian Setzer talks about Tom Petty, ‘The Simpsons’ and his third act with holiday music

Brian Setzer talks about Tom Petty, ‘The Simpsons’ and his third act with holiday music

Brian Setzer knows he’s overdue for a trip to Florida. For 13 years, the Grammy-winning rockabilly guitarist and big-band frontman has been packing theaters coast to coast for his annual Christmas Rocks Tour. But somehow, he keeps skipping this area....
Updated: 1 hour ago
SOCom asking rifle makers for single weapon to serve many sniper roles

SOCom asking rifle makers for single weapon to serve many sniper roles

When Ryan Cleckner was an Army Ranger sniper in Afghanistan, he had as many as nine rifles he would use in different situations. But whenever a mission would evolve quickly, he would have to chose which ones to lug onto a helicopter. Even narrowing t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Thief in stolen rental truck steals ATM machine from Secrets Gentlemen’s Club

Thief in stolen rental truck steals ATM machine from Secrets Gentlemen’s Club

TAMPA — Instead of dropping money at the strip club, a burglar hauled off an ATM machine full of it about an hour before Secrets Gentlemen’s Club opened Tuesday.The the man loaded the club’s single cash machine into a stolen U-Haul storage truck, lic...
Updated: 1 hour ago