Skafest 2010 Hits Rocketown in Pompano Beach Friday Afternoon

Skafest 2010 begins at 2 p.m. at Rocketown in Pompano Beach. What follows is our preview coverage of the event from the print edition.

"Ska is one of the only music scenes in which the community is overwhelmingly positive and everyone is friendly," declares Matt Turner, organizer of SkaFest 2010 and lead singer of Paranoia Dance Party!, one of the festival headliners. That mentality is echoed in the architecture of the festival, which has been an all-ages event since Turner kicked it off in 2005.

"The whole thing got started because there was nothing like this happening at the time," he says. "There were ska shows, but nothing this big. I think the SkaFest series of shows is part of the reason that these things are happening more often now."

This year marks the first time SkaFest has reached beyond the Tampa

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area, adding two local bands for each of the three stops in addition to

the roster of regional favorites. When the festival rolls through

Pompano Beach, South Florida will be represented by Boca Raton act the

Strikeouts! and Fort Lauderdale's King Rooster. The Strikeouts blend

infectious, upbeat, third-wave sounds with a harder, hard-core edge,

while King Rooster blends hints of 2 Tone with the ska-punk feel of

Operation Ivy.

"There is a rather wide array of the type of bands playing this year,

though all of the bands lean more towards the energetic side," says

Turner. He points to third-wave bands (the Taj Motel Trio, Victims of

Circumstance), traditional and 2 Tone (the Sweet Kings), and his own

band, which is "probably the strangest band playing this year, with a

mix of ska, hardcore, and dance music."

In keeping with the festival's inclusive mentality, the South Florida

stop will be held at Rocketown. Turner, along with co-promoter

Christina Healy from South Florida music promotion outfit the Florida

Scene, chose the Christian youth outreach facility, which recently

began programming concerts, because it boasts the size and an all-ages

policy matching with the ideals of the fest.

"The way I think about ska is just good times and having fun,"

Strikeouts! trombonist Adam Seruya says. "I know South Florida is kinda

known for people just having fun all the time, you know, just out for a

good time."

Arguably, that's the whole point of ska and the whole point of the

festival: to get music lovers together to have a good time. As Turner

puts it, "There are ten amazing bands from all over the Southeast

playing this year, and that means there are ten unique takes on the

genre. I'm excited to see if both North and South Florida react to this

the same as Tampa has."

Adds Seruya, "It's a good opportunity to listen to new music, so why not come out?" Your move, SoFla.

-- Nicholas L. Hall

SkaFest 2010 Tour, with Paranoia Dance Party!, the Taj Motel Trio, the

Strikeouts!, King Rooster, Victims of Circumstance, Plan Z, 50:50 Shot,

Chilled Monkey Brains, the Sweet Kings, and Diversity Is an Old Wooden

Ship. 2 p.m. Friday, June 11, at Rocketown, 371 S. Federal Highway,

Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $10 to $12; all ages. Call 813-468-1727, or

click here.

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