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Gasparilla Music Fest lineup: Nas, Sylvan Esso, Gov’t Mule coming to Tampa

For its 10th anniversary, the eclectic music festival announced the first of many artists lined up for the Oct. 1-3 event at Tampa’s downtown waterfront.
Hip hop icon Nas, shown here performing in Las Vegas in 2012, will be one of the headliners for the Gasparilla Music Festival. He is considered one of the most influential rappers of all time.
Hip hop icon Nas, shown here performing in Las Vegas in 2012, will be one of the headliners for the Gasparilla Music Festival. He is considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. [ AL POWERS | Al Powers/Invision/AP ]
Published Aug. 12
Updated Aug. 13

The Gasparilla Music Fest released part of the artist lineup Thursday for its 2021 event, taking place Oct. 1-3 along the downtown Tampa riverfront. Once again, it’s a mix of artists, including Nas, considered one of the most influential rappers of all time, Grammy-nominated electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso and Southern rock jam bad Gov’t Mule.

This year marks the 10th anniversary for the festival that features a series of concerts by local and national artists. Our former music critic Jay Cridlin called it “Tampa Bay’s best music festival” last year for its eclectic, creatively curated lineup. There is a diverse mix of Grammy-winning artists, featured local artists, family-friendly entertainment and food stands from some of the city’s signature restaurants.

Kids play at the Gasparilla Music Festival's family area in 2013. The festival is noted for variety of music, family activities and local food  vendors in Curtis Hixon Park.
Kids play at the Gasparilla Music Festival's family area in 2013. The festival is noted for variety of music, family activities and local food vendors in Curtis Hixon Park. [ Times (2013) ]

More than two dozen acts were announced Thursday, and this is just “phase one″ of artist announcements. Organized by the Gasparilla Music Foundation, the festival will take place on four stages along Tampa’s waterfront.

Other than Nas, this year’s lineup doesn’t have the star power of past years, which have included acts like the Roots, Modest Mouse and Brandi Carlile, but it has something for just about any music fan.

Music duo Sofi Tukker, which recently announced a Las Vegas residency at Elia Beach Club, in 2020 was named the second most livestreamed artist. And Gov’t Mule — comprised of Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, Danny Louis and Jorgen Carlsson — was formed in 1994 as a side project of the Allman Brothers Band by guitarist Haynes and bassist Allen Woody — in recent years they played the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and in 2019 they released full-length concert film Bring on the Music.

Indie rock’s Matt and Kim and Parquet Courts will be there along with one-man jam band Keller Williams and the famed New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Old-school favorites Young MC (Bust a Move) and alt-country’s Old 97′s make a return.

People enjoyed music on stage at the Kiley Amphitheatre at the 2016 the Gasparilla Music Festival. There will be four stages stet up in downtown Tampa for the festival Oct. 1-3.
People enjoyed music on stage at the Kiley Amphitheatre at the 2016 the Gasparilla Music Festival. There will be four stages stet up in downtown Tampa for the festival Oct. 1-3. [ Times (2016) ]

And there are some local notables such as the Hip Abduction and the Tampa band Glove, which played Lollapalooza this year.

Tickets are on sale now at gasparillamusic.com, and some multi-day VIP passes are already sold out. The prices range from $40 for general admission to $250 for three-day VIP.

The Gasparilla Music Festival 2021 lineup so far:

  • Nas
  • Sylvan Esso
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Sofi Tukker
  • Matt & Kim
  • Parquet Courts
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • Keller Williams Grateful Gospel
  • The Hip Abduction
  • Old 97′s
  • 99 Neighbors
  • Young MC
  • BabyJake
  • Glove
  • Vella
  • The Wildmans
  • Bears and Lions
  • BadCameo
  • Perception w/ Wave Theory
  • Row Jomah
  • Pusha Preme
  • Oxford Noland
  • Ivy Alex
  • Visit Neptune
  • Ella Jet & Future Soul
  • The Drain Outs
  • Leon Majcen
  • Noan Partly