When you pull into the parking lot of the Central Florida Fairgrounds at ten in the morning and see groups of people adorned with piercings, tattoos, and multi-colored hair drinking beer by their cars, you might think: “I might be in the wrong neighborhood!” Or, if you’re like me, you think: “This is going to be one hell of a party!”
A Central Florida Rock Tradition: Earthday Birthday 24 on April 22
Spring is in the air here in Central Florida: Pollen, love bugs, smoke from brush fires, and the sweet sounds of rock music. ‘Tis the season for music festivals, and we’ve got some great ones- Gasparilla, Florida Music Fest, 98 Rockfest, and of course, Earthday Birthday 24, put on by Orlando’s favorite station, 101.1 WJRR.
The Florida Music Festival is one of my favorite musical events in the state, and the 2016 version kicks off this Thursday, April 21st. And, just like last year, the music is free – so get your asses out to downtown Orlando this weekend – no excuses…
Paul Williams is the gregarious owner of West End Trading and the unofficial Ambassador of Sanford. He has operated the comfortable, friendly West End music venue for nearly a decade, during that time watching the place triple in size as their critical role as the primary rock venue in Seminole county continues to spread its wings. He coined the #sanfording hashtag and has recently added the Celery City Craft taproom to his Sanford portfolio.
We sat down with him in his chaotic office and had a quick chat about his passion for rock music, Sanfording, buying Local and a few other things.
The twist? How does free admission to the music showcases sound?
Over the three day event, you’ll have the chance to see 125 (mostly) local bands at more than a dozen downtown venues beginning Thursday, April 16th. It’s a rare opportunity to see the best of the hard working bands from the city, the state and the region. There’s a tremendous amount of talent toiling on the local music scene that deserves our attention, and this is the perfect set-up to get your fill.
I’m a little late to the table on this event, and I’ve never attended a previous Florida Music Festival, so I can’t offer too much inside information (yet). There are some very affordable industry functions, speakers and Happy Hours – a great time to mix and mingle with other folks in the music business. I’ll definitely welcome the opportunity to rub elbows with these hard working folks.
But, let’s get back to the music. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a handful of these hands previously, and can guarantee there’s going to be something for any music lover, at any time during any of the three days.
Here are some bands that you need to have on your radar:
Thursday Can’t Miss Acts
Wall Street Plaza – Savannah (9:45), The Crazy Carls (10:45), Jonnie Morgan Band (midnight)
Wall Street Plaza II – Kasson (11:30)Bullitt Bar – Blaine the Mono (9:30) and Death Of Paris (8:30)
Backbooth – Diarrhea Planet ($5)
Magnolia – Kasson (9:00)
Friday Can’t Miss Acts
Wall Street Plaza – Hor!zen (midnight)
Cheyenne Saloon – Carly Jo Jackson (8:00)
Dr. Phillips – Matt Shenk (8:00)
Saturday Can’t Miss Acts
Wall Street Plaza – Bothering Dennis (8:00), The Supervillains (12:15 AM), Blue Man Group Drum Off (11:00)
Wall Street Plaza II – Groove Orient (10:30)
Cheyenne Saloon – Bailey Callahan (10:00)
If you can, make sure you check out the aforementioned bands, but make sure you visit the FMF website for the full schedule: FMF Showcases. And check back here in a few days for our thoughts and photos from the festival. (Make sure to Like our Facebook to assure you don’t miss a thing.
We’ll see you on the streets of Orlando this weekend!
Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, Florida rock news and concert photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂