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Coral Skies Festival: The Bands and Brands

 The beautiful cloudless day that was Oct. 25 couldn’t have been more perfect for the Coral Skies music festival, unless the event had actually been held under coral-colored skies. With big indie-alternative names like Bleachers, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Hold Steady on the schedule, the Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater was a sea of man-buns and wide-brimmed-hat hipsters. Luckily, there is no need to rock a man-bun or a wide brimmed hat to get into the indie scene. The following are some of Coral Skies’ little known performers that even some of your hipster friends might not have heard of.


Wild Cub/ Photo by Casey Budd

Good Graeff

Twin sisters Brit and Brooke Graeff make up this dynamic duo from Sarasota, with Brit on cello and Brooke’s amazing voice front and center. Good Graeff kicked off Coral Skies bright and early at 12 p.m. on the Sunrise Stage, performing songs from their latest album Better Half as well as tracks from their upcoming EP. The group also premiered a new version of their unreleased song “I Want That.” “I know we keep saying we’re going to release new music really soon,” Brooke said to the crowd. Brit quickly chimed in, “But we mean it this time!”

Benjamin Booker

Tampa native Benjamin Booker and his band rocked the Scion Stage midday with their hard rock sound and


Benjamin Booker/ Photo by Casey Budd

Booker’s sultry, unforgettable voice. After booking gigs on David Letterman and Conan, performing with
Jack white, and playing Lollapalooza, Booker and his band are certainly picking up steam. The amphitheater filled up as Booker played songs from his premier self-titled album, which dropped in August. The boys also covered Otis Redding’s “Shout Bamalama” and Fury Lewis’ “Falling Down Blues.” Hipsters and rock fans alike went wild as Booker finished his set with his album’s biggest hit “Violent Shiver.” While Booker is still a rock star on the rise, you can say you knew him before everyone else for a little while longer.

Wild Cub

The scent of food truck deliciousness and something a bit more herbal drifted through the air as Wild Cub took the stage that afternoon. The band’s intense electro-pop sound had the entire crowd dancing, or at least bobbing their heads as they sat on their picnic blankets. Reminiscent of 80s pop, Wild Cub’s lead singer Keegan DeWitt’s deep passionate voice paired remarkably with the band’s synth rock style. DeWitt encouraged the audience to support small-time artists by purchasing music. “There’s still a currency in music when one person hands it to another and says ‘This is special to me,’” DeWitt told the crowd.


Still looking to get away from the mainstream? Pac-Sun no longer piquing your interest?  Here are some of Coral Skies’ featured clothing brands to get you ahead of the curve.

Then, Now, Always

These aren’t your average missionaries. Founded in their christianity, this brand takes popular indie styles to a new level of originality. Their galaxy t-shirt doesn’t use just any generated image, but is instead taken from an actual photo of Death Valley at 3 a.m. Founder Troy Lano has been running Then, Now, Always with his wife for over a year and a half and the brand has been featured at Warped Tour, Riot Fest and several other festivals around the country.

Krochet Kids

Clueless’ notorious fashionista Cher Horowitz emphasized the importance of doing something good for humanity. While Krochet Kids’ project is a bit more powerful than playing high school matchmaker, their sense of fashion and charity would certainly make Cher proud. Founded by 3 crotchet-loving snowboarders, this brand funds the education of women in poor countries such as Peru and Uganda to be able to craft and crochet in order to break the cycle of poverty. Each piece is personally signed by the woman who made it. This makes paying roughly $30 for a beanie all the more worth it. Besides, you’ll need something to cover up while you grow out your man-bun.

Selene San Felice can be reached at


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