Sunday, May 27, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli and Charles Bradley top eclectic Gasparilla Music Festival 2016 lineup

After four years of eclectic indie rock, the Gasparilla Music Festival has found its soul.

Grammy-winning R&B star Erykah Badu leads the initial 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival lineup, unveiled Friday. She tops a diverse bill that also includes hip-hop legend Talib Kweli and veteran soul and funk singer Charles Bradley.

Other acts performing at the festival, March 12-13 at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa, include indie rockers Houndmouth and Blitzen Trapper; Americana outfits Greensky Bluegrass and the Whiskey Gentry; and electro-pop outfits MS MR and Savoy. Elsewhere on the bill, fans will find sounds ranging from jazz (Kermit Ruffins) to Cuban pop (Carlos Varela) to Afrobeat (Antibalas) to Cajun fusion (Sweet Crude) to children's music (Andrew and Polly).

"This is our fifth year, so that was a big goal of ours, to put that stamp down, accumulating what we've done the first four years and really trying to emphasize some of that eclectic diversity," said David Cox, GMF's executive director.

More acts will be added in the coming weeks, including at least one more headliner. In all, look for more than 50 bands across five stages — one more than in years past, with the addition of a new stage in MacDill Park along the Tampa Riverwalk.

"This is the first year that the Riverwalk is open, so we're making a big push to integrate the river more into the festival this year," Cox said. "We just think it's a great asset to the city, and we've been waiting for a few years to really start to integrate it."

GMF scored a coup with its Saturday night headliner, the enigmatic and at times controversial Badu, a four-time Grammy-winner with hits including On & On, Tyrone and You Got Me. In recent years she's dabbled in more experimental projects like last year's telecom-themed mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone.

"What we wanted to highlight this year, what GMF's done — in being diverse and fun and funky and eclectic — she's just the epitome of all that," Cox said. "She's truly an original artist, and that, to us, is exactly what we want people to think when they think of GMF."

The lineup once again includes a host of local notables playing GMF for the first time, including blues hero Damon Fowler, Latin fusionists Gumbi Ortiz and New Groove City, and hip-hop and reggae collective Gwan Massive. Also performing are unique local entities including the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir, Seminole Indoor Percussion Ensemble and the Dunedin Highland Middle School Pipe Band.

Other acts on the bill include David Wax Museum, New Breed Brass Band, Fruition, Resinated, DieAlps!, Serotonic, the Woolly Bushmen, Poetry 'n Lotion, the Ries Brothers, Samurai Shotgun, Jackson Davis and the Jackettes, Gritt and Mr. Tommy.

More eyes than usual might be on GMF this year following news that Tampa's other big indie rock festival, Big Guava, won't be returning in 2016.

But Cox said the festival has cultivated such a dedicated following over five years that fans snapped up all early-bird tickets even before a lineup was announced.

"That's one of the things that we are very proud about, that people trust that it's going to be fun, it's going be good, and we're going to put on the best user-friendly customer experience," Cox said. "That's what we come from, is a fans-first mentality."

Two-day tickets to the Gasparilla Music Festival are on sale now for $60. Saturday-only tickets are $40; Sunday tickets are $30. VIP tickets are $150 for the weekend, $100 for Saturday and $75 for Sunday.

For all the details on the 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival, see gasparillamusic.com.

Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

     
               
Comments
Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival keeps rain at bay, brings Marshmello, Rezz to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival keeps rain at bay, brings Marshmello, Rezz to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

In the end, we were waiting for a drop that never came.With Subtropical Storm Alberto forming in the southern Gulf of Mexico, it seemed a matter not of if but when but the Sunset Music Festival would suffer its nasty effects — inches of rain, g...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Country comedy band performs at Dessert Theatre benefit

Country comedy band performs at Dessert Theatre benefit

The Sweeney "Family" Band, a musical comedy act that blends country, folk and gospel music with knee-slapping humor, will perform June 3 at the CARES Elfers Center, 4136 Barker Drive, New Port Richey. Doors open at 1 p.m., with the show starting at 2...
Published: 05/25/18
Watch Kenny Chesney’s new ‘Get Along’ video, filmed entirely at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Watch Kenny Chesney’s new ‘Get Along’ video, filmed entirely at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Were you at Kenny Chesney's concert on April 21 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? Then there's a decent chance you might be in his new video.The country superstar dropped the official video for his new single Get Along on Thursday, and it was appare...
Published: 05/24/18
Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

  Your Memorial Day weekend weather forecast is not looking good, with a big low pressure system, Invest 90L, hovering out in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening to dump several inches of water on Saturday. For music fans, it couldn't be coming at a...
Published: 05/24/18
An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

Recently I was asked to create a playlist for a summer beach party. An opportunity to procrastinate and mess around on Spotify for a few hours? Yeah, totally, when can I start?I like playlists that are diverse, not just in terms of genre (pop, hip-ho...
Published: 05/24/18
Tampa Bay Margarita Festival schedule, set times: When to see the Wallflowers, Everclear and more

Tampa Bay Margarita Festival schedule, set times: When to see the Wallflowers, Everclear and more

It's anyone's guess as to whether this weekend's ugly rains will hold off long enough for the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival to crack open some 10,000 bottles of tequila in Curtis Hixon Park.But if it does, you want to know when you can see your favori...
Published: 05/23/18
97X Barbecue schedule, set times: When to see Awolnation, Dirty Heads, more in St. Petersburg

97X Barbecue schedule, set times: When to see Awolnation, Dirty Heads, more in St. Petersburg

The 97X Barbecue Music and Arts Festival — formerly the 97X BBQ, formerly the 97X Barbecue, formerly … well, who can keep track of it all? — returns on Saturday to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, with a lineup that includes Awolnation...
Published: 05/23/18
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Published: 05/23/18
Suwannee Hulaween lineup: Odesza, Jamiroquai, Janelle Monae and more

Suwannee Hulaween lineup: Odesza, Jamiroquai, Janelle Monae and more

For the second straight year, one of the most eclectic music festivals in Florida will be taking place in Live Oak.Suwannee Hulaween just announced the lineup for its 2018 edition, coming Oct. 26-28 at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, and it featur...
Published: 05/23/18
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last year’s Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampa’s largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Published: 05/23/18