Make us your home page

Florida music festival preview: Ultra, Wanee, SunFest, Big Guava and more of spring's big things

If you can’t make the Suwanee scene, Brooksville has Stringbreak.

tbt* (2013)

If you can’t make the Suwanee scene, Brooksville has Stringbreak.

Suwannee Springfest

Genre: Americana

When and where: Through Sunday, Spirit of the Suwannee Park, Live Oak. See

Lineup: Top bands include the Avett Brothers, Del McCoury Band, Punch Brothers, Sam Bush Band, Jason Isbell, Steep Canyon Rangers and the Southern Soul Assembly, a supergroup made up of J.J. Grey, Anders Osborne, Luther Dickinson and Marc Broussard.

Local equivalent: Stringbreak Music Festival, April 10-13 at Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. There are no major names on the lineup, but the vibe is similar — and tickets are about half the price. See

Ultra Music Festival

Genre: EDM

When and where: March 28-30, Bayfront Park, Miami. See

Lineup: Almost every heavyweight DJ and even vaguely electronic act you can name, including Avicii, David Guetta, M.I.A., Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Zedd, MGMT and Diplo. It's not as massive as last year's two-weekend affair, but Ultra is still one of the world's preeminent EDM festivals, almost always selling out in advance.

Local equivalent: Sunset Music Festival, May 24-25 at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa's block-rocking beat-fest, which drew more than 22,000 fans last year, is expanding to two days in 2014. Ticket prices go up April 1, and the initial lineup — which will no doubt include several big names from Ultra — will be announced April 2. See

Wanee Festival

Genre: Jam bands

When and where: April 10-12, Spirit of the Suwannee Park, Live Oak. See

Lineup: Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Trey Anastasio Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, Umphrey's McGee, Blues Traveler, moe., Ziggy Marley and many more. This is the final year of the current lineup for the Allman Brothers Band, including guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes, and the band is going out with a bang at its home festival.

Local equivalent: Orange Blossom Jamboree, May 15-18 at Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. Spam Allstars are the biggest national name, but the lineup is loaded with regional talent, including Cope, the Applebutter Express, Bobby Lee Rodgers and Thomas Wynn and the Believers. See

Tortuga Music Festival

Genre: Country (with some pop)

When and where: April 12-13, Fort Lauderdale. See

Lineup: Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Hank Williams Jr., Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert and Billy Currington are the big Nashville names at this beachfront festival, but there are a number of pop-leaning acts as well, including Train, Sheryl Crow, Slightly Stoopid and Ziggy Marley.

Local equivalent: The Florida Strawberry Festival just ended, so we'll go with the Zac Brown Band and Kacey Musgraves, who are playing a two-night stint at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on May 29-30. Both acts can throw down a hoedown, but they have pop crossover appeal as well.

Welcome to Rockville

Genre: Hard rock and metal

When and where: April 26-27, Metropolitan Park, Jacksonville. See

Lineup: It's like Mayhem, Warped, Uproar and the Carnival of Madness all rolled into one. Avenged Sevenfold, the Cult, Rob Zombie, Motorhead, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch and Staind are just a few of the loudest names on the bill.

Local equivalent: 98 Rockfest, April 25 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. It's the same weekend, so almost every band at 98 Rockfest will be going straight to Welcome to Rockville, including headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat and Chevelle. See


Genre: Mainstream rock and pop

When and where: April 30-May 2, downtown West Palm Beach. See

Lineup: The genres don't really matter, as long as you know the artists. Kid Rock, Robin Thicke, Ellie Goulding, Goo Goo Dolls, Young the Giant, Pretty Lights, Alice in Chains, Daughtry, Sublime With Rome, Austin Mahone, the Dooby Brothers, the Bangles, J. Cole and Dropkick Murphys are among the biggest names.

Local equivalent: Big Guava Festival, May 2-4 at the Florida State Fairgrounds. While the meat of its lineup is definitely more indie-centric, Big Guava is swinging big with a number of acts who have pop crossover appeal, including Outkast, Foster the People, Tegan and Sara, Cake, Slightly Stoopid, Vampire Weekend, American Authors, Walk the Moon and Blue October. See

Florida music festival preview: Ultra, Wanee, SunFest, Big Guava and more of spring's big things 03/18/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 5:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.


    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  2. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  3. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  4. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]