Hard to believe that this will be the 20th time that Suwannee Springfest has kicked off the spring festival season at the beautiful Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. It takes place March 17-20 for four glorious days in the 800-acre pine forests and fields. Springfest organizers are truly thrilled to announce that John Prine will be headlining the festival with his debut appearance at the event!
There is so much picking going on in campsites all over the park (be sure to bring your instrument), but make sure to make your way to the stages to check out many artists who are Springfest regulars and some folks playing here for the first time as well.
Thursday, music starts at 4 at the Amphitheater Stage with Big Cosmo. Music moves from the amphitheater to the Porch Stage and back for the remainder of the day with Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, the Jon Stickley Trio, the Rumple Mountain Boys and more.
Things get serious Friday with four stages. Time to look at the schedule very carefully. There are conflicts, to be sure, but you’ll notice that quite a few of the bands and performers you wish to see are playing twice. Get those highlighters ready! In addition to the Amphitheater and Porch Stages, the Meadow Stage and the Music Hall will be in use.
Noon Friday the Applebutter Express (Amphitheater) and Two Foot Level (Music Hall) get everyone in the mood. There is great music during the day from Nikki Talley, Grits & Soul, the Broadcast, Quartermoon, the Larry Keel Experience, and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (what a great name!). And Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, the Rumple Mountain Boys and the Jon Stickley Trio are back for second helpings.
The headlining music Friday is amazing, starting with Cabinet, the Jeff Austin Band, Brandi Carlile, Railroad Earth, and the Del McCoury Band. That lineup alone would be worth the trip to Live Oak.
Saturday is also jam-packed with pickin’. Nora Jane Strutters and the Steppin’ Stones have opening sets. The Habanero Honeys, Canary in the Coalmine, Jim Lauderdale, and the Virginia Dare Devils are among those performing. Cabinet, Fruition and Nikki Talley return for second sets. Dave & Dave (of Trampled by Turtles) make their very first Springfest appearance.
On the Amphitheater Stage, there is simply no let-up. The Larry Keel Experience comes in for round two, followed by The Infamous Stringdusters, Nikki Bluhm & the Gramblers (also first-timers), more Del McCoury Band, the aforementioned John Prine, and late-night stars Donna the Buffalo.
And that’s just the official music on the four stages. Head to any campfire, and there is bound to be music playing throughout the day and long into the night.
Finally, Sunday rolls around. Springfest will make this easy on you. Plop down at the Amphitheater — all day. The “acoustic ensemble” opens at 11:30, with second appearances next from Della Mae, Jim Lauderdale, and the Infamous Stringdusters. Keller Williams brings his Grateful Grass in for the penultimate set, and Donna the Buffalo gets the last word, as music goes until 8 PM.
Got those schedules ready? Start highlightin’!
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