There's not much quite like AURA Music & Arts Festival. Though in its sixth incarnation, for the past three years, this celebration of all things art, sound, mind, and body has returned to Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. It's a time and place where you can catch forty diverse jam acts whose styles range from the innocent and melodic to trippy and nasty. It's also a spot where folks can come together and exercise their inner yogis or buy some one-of-a-kind artwork.
The fest starts on March 6 and runs through the 8th. Whether it's camping in the woods or pimping out an RV, the AURA experience is all about what you make of it. On the fence about embarking on the trek to Northern Florida? There's all kinds of reasons you should pack up your car and cruise out, and here are ten of the finest.
Joining the pre-party hoopla
Regulars of AURA have always scheduled in that early night of rage before the annual shindig. For some of us, this means kicking off the weekend one day early. But, it's well worth it to have an extra night at this frolic in the forest. This year's pre-bash is stacked with different types of talent, from Dopapod to the Motet to Ghost Owl; three cacophonic excuses to call in sick on Friday morning -- from your tent in the woods, of course.
Grooving into your downward-facing dog
As the festival has grown, so has its dedication to mind and body discovery. This year, the Yoga & Healing Arts Program at AURA will offer more than 20 whopping opps to improve your inner self. From BoomYoga's Shake Your Asana to the Crystal Bowl and Song Sound Healing, you can twist, turn and chant mantras until your chakras ooze rainbows!
Relishing the jamtastic headliners
One reason we love AURA is because of the festival's dedication to presenting burgeoning talent and up-and-coming acts. But, the truth is, you can't mess with the classics. For the first year ever, AURA will welcome two iconic jam bands, both with more than 20 years of mind-melting under their collective belts. Come Friday, Moe. will treat the crowd to an adventurous ride with plenty of tricks and turns into melodic bliss and rhythmic territory, all thanks to an exceptional musical chemistry.
On Saturday night, the godfathers of jamtronica, the Disco Biscuits, will douse the AURA sea in a nonstop dirty dance party. With the skillful marriage of instrumental evolution and spicy tech effects, the band will transport minds and bodies.
Warming up by the campfire's light
There's no better feeling than the warmth of a great musical festival family by the campfire's glow. Whether sharing a bottle of whiskey with a group of fresh faces, or roasting s'mores with your festie besties, the campfire circle ignites unity at Suwannee, via both friends old and new.
Embarking on a quick escape
We're just about quarter of the way through 2015, and you've been perpetually staring at your computer screen, going through the robotic motions of the humdrum 9-to-5. Add a getaway overflowing with good people, great music, and contagious vibes to your calendar. Then pack up the car with a couple of your most entertaining friends and embark on a mini road trip. Rounding out at about six hours from South Florida, AURA is the ideal short-term escape that's just far enough away from home.
Investing in some art
Along with its following and dedication to bringing awesome musical acts to Florida, AURA has always been a strong supporter of the arts. Each year, the art program continues to evolve, attracting both live painters as well as artists showcasing and selling works inside the art tent.
If you've got some extra loot lying around, stash it in your sock and splurge on something special. The art at AURA is vast and original, and most definitely affordable in comparison to most other art shows on your annual roster. Whether you peruse or purchase, connecting with the artists at AURA is always a memorable experience.
Acting a fool (or poking fun) at the silent disco
There are two types of people at a silent disco: spectators and listeners. No matter which category you fall into, you will be entertained. Spectators have a blast poking fun at a dance party without sound; while listeners tune into a world literally confined in their heads.
At AURA, the silent disco experience showcases two types of talent: DJs and live elements, and perhaps even the fusion of the two. We're looking forward to a quiet boogie down with a surge of South Florida talent, including Miami up-and-comers Bedside, DJ Scotty Solomon, JayJoHero (of Ketchy Shuby) and Tony D (The Heavy Pets).
Getting lost in the trees
It may seem spooky to lose your way in the forest, but Spirit of the Suwannee provides an earthy environment to let go of the outside world, and rather, find yourself. Amidst Spanish moss, aged oak and curly cypress, you'll feel at home under the shelter this primitive park provides, tucked away from reality for just a few days.
Dunedin's specialty Bisco brews
The exclusive craft brewery of AURA, Dunedin Brewery is known for its blend of unique, delicious flavors, aromatics, and fruity infusions. This Florida staple is all about specialty kegs, and AURA is no exception. Partnering up with the Disco Biscuits, Dunedin will showcase innovative musical tribute tastes including the vanilla-coffee-style Portal to an Empty Red and the cherried Little Lai PA, along with festival favorite, the AURA Gold Ale.
Returning acts you can't dismiss
There are only a handful of music festivals that stay true to loyal artists, and AURA is one of them. Sharing the spirit and the wealth with both fest followers and returning talent since year-one, AURA 6 continues to feature its grandfathered acts as a way to honor the festival's roots. As it continues to grow into one of Florida's most popular annual gatherings of art and entertainment, familiar acts with fresh flavors continue to hit the AURA stage, including Papadosio, Kung Fu, RAQ, the Heavy Pets, the Mike Dillon Band, Fusik, Brother Bean, Spontaneous Underground, and DJ Craig Heneveld.
AURA Music & Arts Festival, March 6 to 8, 2015, at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Visit auramusicfestival.com.
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