Tampa’s music scene has always been somewhat of a local affair with concerts and shows crisscrossing in the city limits. With hopes to boost Tampa to the national music scene, the Gasparilla Music Festival has landed some notable acts this year including indie alt-rock group Modest Mouse, Jersey punk rockers Gaslight Anthem and New Orleans’ own alt-electro-pysch MuteMath.
Gasparilla Music Festival is a local nonprofit effort that had its inaugural year in 2012. It has grown sizably since then, from a single-day small-stage lineup to a two-day four-stage all out celebration of Tampa’s culture, heritage and music. The festival has always been a local based initiative, with all funding coming from Tampa Bay area businesses. One of the major initiatives brought forward by GMF is giving back to the community by supporting music education in Tampa, as well as providing scholarships to students majoring in music.
The GMF is an accumulation of indie music, honest food, micro-brewed booze and hipster runoff. With attendance steadily on the rise from a little over 6,000 in 2012 to well over 16,000 in 2014, GMF continues to become a spotlight of the Gasparilla Arts Month here in Tampa. GMF is all about keeping it local, but also showcasing over 150 regional musicians since its inception. GMF has some considerable pull as it grows, luring out Modest Mouse to break a career-long Tampa hiatus and have their first show in the Bay area. Washington natives Modest Mouse will be performing on their first stop in support of their new album “Strangers to Ourselves” that’s set to drop March 17. Supporting Modest Mouse are acts such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Trampled by Turtles, Gogol Bordello and many more.
Local is in, mass produced is out. GMF aims to offer festival goers a rich taste of Tampa’s culture and heritage while only serving food from local eateries and food trucks. The curated food lineup is as diverse as the music; breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert is covered. With everything from coffee and pie to barbeque and sandwiches (lots and lots of sandwich options), GMF has got it all. Want to start your day off with a “chicken and waffle cone?” How about an Indie grilled cheese and some sticky bunz? Choosing a place to eat may be the hardest decision you make at the festival, sans picking something off the menu. Boasting a total of 19 different Tampa area vendors, the food offerings are vast at GMF.
With more booze options then some local bars, Gasparilla Music Festival shows off the best of what’s around. For beer lovers, the ‘Biergarten’ tent is back, and Sweetwater Brewing and Cigar City Brewing will be on tap and in full effect to quench any thirst if proper ID is shown. If beer isn’t your thing, then mosey on over to the Blue Chair Rum tent or Tito’s handmade vodka tent, a micro distilled option that’s been made by the same distiller since its inception.
Tickets are available online with a two day general admission pass for $60 and individual days at $40 and $30 for Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Daniel Sobczakr can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org.