Sunday, April 22, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

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

Suwannee Springfest

Genre: Americana

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

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 lindentertainment.com.

Ultra Music Festival

Genre: EDM

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

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 smftampa.com.

Wanee Festival

Genre: Jam bands

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

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 orangeblossomjamboree.com.

Tortuga Music Festival

Genre: Country (with some pop)

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

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 welcometorockvillefestival.com.

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 98rock.com.

SunFest

Genre: Mainstream rock and pop

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

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 bigguavafest.com.

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