Gainesville doesn’t mean to brag, but, well, they’ve certainly got plenty to brag about. The music scene there is vibrant, and now there is a beyond-state-of-the-art facility for musicians that will blow your mind.
It is called the Heartwood Soundstage, North Florida’s first live recording Venue! In honor of its grand opening, they are throwing the Heartwood Music Festival on Saturday, February 25th, with music on an outdoor stage and on the indoor Heartwood Stage, with live video sessions. 24 great performers and bands will fill up your day from noon until 2 AM.
Locochino band manager Dave Johnson reports: “This being their first event, it also serves as a grand opening and an open house of sorts to show off everything the venue/studio is capable of. Their IT network is awesome, I’ve been dabbling with it a bit, and they’ll be offering virtual tickets for those who want to stream the event to their living room, etc.”
This brand new event is presented by Springbok Booking & Media and Swamp Records. In addition to all of the great music, there will be food trucks, craft vendors, and art installations. The address for you Mapquesters and such is: 619 South Main Street, Gainesville FL 32601.
Tickets are very inexpensive, and children 12 and under get in free, and all the music during the day will be family-friendly! Further, $1 from every ticket sale goes directly to a great local nonprofit, Future Music Makers. This brilliant organization works to put musical instruments into the hands of students and to provide scholarships for some young musicians as well.
Heartwood Music Festival is proudly partnered with Active Streets Alliance, Active Streets Gainesville, and Chimera Fest. MoeBands is an official sponsor.
Most of the musicians performing call Gainesville home, making this an outstanding showcase for what the community has to offer. The list is highlighted by three groups who have been playing far and wide: Flat Land and Locochino from Gainesville and Bells and Robes (from Gainesville, currently working out of Atlanta).
Flat Land is a superb quintet offering ethereal funk fusion (is that possible?) so engaging that they have been in great demand, fronted by Fae Nae on violin and vocals. Many of their original songs are featured on last year’s excellent Arrow to the Sun, and they play a great selection of covers as well.
Speaking of ethereal, Luke Sipka and Dean Spaniol collectively are Bells and Robes, a wonderful electronica duo who have likewise been expanding their fanbase throughout the Southeast. They too had a great 2016 release in the form of the EP How Could We Have Known? They have performed with many of the best jamtronic and electronic acts anywhere. Be prepared to trance-dance in a dream state.
Locochino likewise has been scorching stages with their great rock sounds. And they too can veer off into trance-dancey music with Floyd overtones. This is great progressive rock from a dynamic quintet.
The main stage will feature a wide variety of genres throughout the day and night. If you’re looking for solid hip hop, try Masune. At the other end of the spectrum, Jordan Burchel plays a mix of indie, alt and folk rock. HEDGES brings you “swampy energetic rock and roll,” and you can hear surf and psychedelic rock from Endless Pools.
We like the notion of “math rock” as presented by Just Neighbors. Wax Wings should be great with their blend of folk, swing, jazz and alt-country, and you have to see Bears and Lions, who claim to play “music parents like.” We’ll see about that!
More great Gainesville talent include Hail! Cassius Neptune, delivering progressive R&B and art rock, and The Delta Troubadours (formerly Gritt); they play rock and roll, blues and garage rock. They won Okeechobee’s battle of the bands contest and will be Gainesville’s fourth band to play that festival!
Meanwhile, inside, a dozen performers (most also Gainesvillians) will benefit from all of that great equipment, including Ricky Kendall, using the arts for healing, Lance Howell of BIG SHOALS, Michael Claytor and His Friends, and the tender spook music of Levek!
The Hard Luck Society should be a trip, playing old jazz standards, Western swing, and much more. Also on stage will be Nicholas Roberts, Rachel Grubb, Matthew Fowler (Orlando), Austin Miller, Danielle DeCosmo (St. Petersburg), Sarah Howe, and Pine.
Let’s review. Two dozen musical performances, the debut of an awesome new facility, children welcome, food and beverages available as well as goods from other vendors, and Gainesville!
That adds up to one great day!