Florida Music Festival Kicks Off

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FMF 2015 is Underway

Well, this is my first Florida Music Festival, and after one day, I am excited about the future of this event. Lots of good music, but certainly not the perfect night the organizers had hoped for.

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First thing, I stopped by mid-afternoon to register, and the organizers and volunteers I met then and throughout the day were all great to deal with and very friendly – definitely left a nice first impression!

Going into the evening, I was expecting that the foreboding forecast would be an issue, but at the end of Day 1, the only problem was pesky neighbors who had the Orlando PD come out and issue two citations for violating the city’s noise ordinance, but more about that later. For now, let’s focus on the good, and there was plenty of that!

The city had 20,000 folks at the Corporate 5K at Lake Eola, including me, and probably just as many ParrotHeads over at the Amway Center for the Jimmy Buffet party, yet traffic and parking for the festival was pretty painless. Due to my volunteer commitment at the 5K, I didn’t get to the festival until after 10:00, and I raced to Bullitt Bar to catch the end of Blaine The Mono’s set.

It was a hard rocking beginning to a few hours of excellent (mostly) local rock. From there it was over to Wall Street, where we caught a melodic alt-rock set from Melbourne’s The State Of How and a pop-laced dance-driven set from Orlando’s The Crazy Carls.

Alex Baugh Crazy Carls FMF
Alex Baugh of The Crazy Carls Performing at FMF

See more photos here: FMF 2015 Photos

But, then the fun began. I noticed the members of Jonnie Morgan Band hastily toting their equipment over to Side Show, the new bar on Orange Avenue. I’m sure that was a contingency in the case of rain, but the culprit this time was that pesky noise ordinance. The seven-piece made the best of it, and squeezed onto the tiny stage and delivered an excellent brass-infused set that had the small room rocking.

Unfortunately, no such luck for Kasson, who had to scrub their entire set, despite a nice crowd gathered at their stage. Fortunately, they were rescheduled for tonight at 12:30, where they’ll close the Main Stage, if the city allows… It’s hard to understand how the festival does not have some sort of variance, as it is sponsored by the Downtown Development Board, and has the potential to add some much needed musical culture to our city.

But, let’s get back to the good stuff – the music and the artists. There are 125 bands playing here over the three evenings, and there’s something for everyone. Best of all, almost all of the music is Free. Get out to the FMF tonight or Saturday and check out some excellent new music.

Hope to see you there.

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Rock On!

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