Looking to get out of Miami for Spring Break but don’t quite have the biggest budget?
Gasparilla Music Festival just might be your savior for the first weekend, this upcoming March 11-12. Tampa’s addition to the spring festival season will only run you $60—yes you read that correctly—and for a pretty good and diverse payout: headliners are Cage the Elephant and Ghostface Killah on Saturday night and Ryan Adams on Sunday.
Gasparilla’s musical offerings are a far cry from Miami’s slew of EDM acts that run through the club circuit; the festival caters more towards funk and soul and a mix-mash of other genres including dub-reggae, folk, and singer-songwriter. Gasparilla gives a chance to regional acts like Bradenton-based band “Have Gun Will Travel” to perform on a bigger stage before more well-known acts like singer-songwriter Ryan Adams close the night. Ryan Adams gained the spotlight momentarily in pop culture thanks to his full album cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989.
The two acts I would predict to be the one’s not to miss are the headliners of Saturday night: Cage the Elephant and Ghostface Killah.
Fresh off the Grammy stage with a shiny new trophy for Best Rock Album of the Year, Cage the Elephant is bound to provide a set full of the new singles off of Tell Me I’m Pretty like “Trouble” and “Cold Cold Cold.” But don’t worry, I’d also expect to hear old fan favorites like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Cigarette Dreams.” I saw them last summer at Connection Fest in Jacksonville, FL, and streams of kids were hopping over the VIP gate to get into the pit. And for good reason—Matt Shultz brings incredible energy to his set—your eyes can barely keep up with his movement on stage.
Ghostface Killah’s one of the most solid figures in the rap game. Although possibly most well-known for being a member of the infamous Wu Tang Clan (who happened to open for Cage the Elephant at Connection Fest. Coincidence?), he’s also put out over ten solo studio albums. The most recent was Twelve Reasons to Die II in 2015 and also the collaboration album Sour Soul with BadBadNotGood in 2015. But his set will overlap with the beginning of Cage the Elephant’s by 15 minutes, so you might have to run in between the two.
Gasparilla Music Festival is not one to go to in anticipation of seeing big name acts—it’s a concert to attend to discover new music and to appreciate real musical talent beyond the soundboards of a DJ stand.
The festival takes place in Curtis Hixon Park, Kiley Gardens in Downtown Tampa. Gates open at 11:30 am both March 11th and 12th. Single day passes are available.