It has happened again. Yet another festival at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park has finished its run. Here is the official announcement:
For those of us in the jamband and bluegrass families, we used to count on AURA, Springfest, Wanee, Purple Hatter’s Ball, Magnolia Fest and Bear Creek. Bear Creek disappeared with the explosion of Hulaween. There will be a new Bear Creek Bayou event, a non-camping festival in New Orleans September 30 and October 1.
A political and philosophical divide resulted in Springfest and Magnolia Fest moving operations to the St. Augustine Amphitheater. The Suwannee Roots Revival will fill the mid-October void with a great lineup including one of the godfathers, Peter Rowan, who seems pleased to return under new management. Likely a spring event will also be on the calendar.
But AURA hurts. And this one is personal. My two favorite festivals at SoSMP were Bear Creek and AURA, and now both of these funkfests are gone.
Here was my AURA lead this year:
AURA is the Perfect Name for This Festival!
Once again, the AURA Music and Arts Festival (March 3-5) reminded me why it is my favorite festival: wonderful music, wonderful people, wonderful venue. Once again, I didn’t want to take my wristband off. I wanted to keep those memories with me for another year. Those who were there are already pumped for 2017.
Yeah, not so much.
Or the 2015 edition:
AURA Music and Arts Festival 2015: Beyond Imagination!
I didn’t want to take my wristband off. Once I got home, I kept looking at it for hours. I just didn’t want the magic to stop.
The AURA Music and Arts Festival was over, but this extraordinary experience will live in my head and my heart all year. And everybody — everybody — I have talked to or read a post by says exactly the same thing. The name of the festival is precisely correct: the aura surrounding the entire Spirit of Suwannee Music Park was full of magic, wonder, joy, friendship, community, family and love. If that sounds trippy-hippy-dippy to you, then one thing is for certain: you were not there!
So, yes, I will miss AURA, terribly. Thank you, Daryl, for all you have done for the community. Let’s hope there is another funkfest in our future!
Somebody pass me the Kleenex.