Make us your home page
Instagram

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 cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli and Charles Bradley top eclectic Gasparilla Music Festival 2016 lineup 01/22/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2016 6:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24

    Events

    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]