In spite of recent events, one of the last festivals that was able to happen, the Gasparilla Music Festival (GMF) rocked Tampa Bay. The Gasparilla Music Foundation is a non-profit that hosts this incredible music festival annually in the heart of the city along Curtis Hixon Park. Their goal is to support and promote music education, with the best part being the proceeds from GMF go towards benefiting the youth in Tampa Bay through a program called Recycled Tunes. The two-day festival took place on March 7 and 8 showcasing multiple genres from rock to hip-hop, local music talent, along with some big-name headliners across several stages.
The sun was out, and the weather was breezy, creating the laid-back atmosphere you crave at an all-day, outdoor music fest. Local vendors came together to support one of the biggest weekends of the year. If the music isn’t enough for you, Cigar City Brewery was the main sponsor of this year’s event, supplying a variety of beers to make any connoisseur happy. Beer’s not your thing, but food is? GMF has you covered. The outskirts of the festival were lined up and down with options any foodie could dream of ranging from vegan, gluten-free choices to nachos, chicken and waffles, and deep-fried foods.
This year’s festival featured many women in the music scene. Guitar Girl Magazine had the pleasure to sit down and do an interview with Florida Native, Edan Archer, an Alternative-Country, Americana artist, who played an early afternoon set on Saturday. The day went on with many other well-known artists, like rock band Rival Sons, along with two of the three members of De La Soul. Not to mention, a surprise appearance from Tampa’s own mayor, Jane Castor, who came out with much enthusiasm to introduce the night’s main headliner, Brandi Carlile herself.
Brandi Carlile is a Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, who was just as excited as the mayor to take the stage. With the largest crowd all day and night, she put on a show that wowed every audience member. Carlile was full of life and energy, bouncing around the stage and the walkout platform, while toning down some moments in songs to give more of an intimate feel to a massive group of people.
Gasparilla Music Festival hosted a huge success for the opening night of the weekend full of great musicians, cold beers, and local treats. If you’re looking for a kick-off to a spring trip, keep this festival in mind for an annual fun-filled weekend with lots to offer.
Brandi Carlile Live Performance Shots
Photos by Elevin Photography