We know SunFest just put the finishing touches on five days of music festival goodness that might have put some in a live music coma, but if you are like us (and if you are reading a music blog, you probably are), the umpteen acts to take the West Palm Beach stages merely whet your appetite for more tremendous live music. If that’s the case, we have good news, dear reader. This Friday and Saturday, Big Guava Music Festival will be taking over Tampa. We know the trip is an intimidating four-hour drive away, but we’re willing to give you the kick in the pants you need to get there. Here are ten reasons why this year’s Big Guava Festival is worth the drive. 10. You can discover your new favorite band.
The greatest part of festivals with massive lineups is not only do you get to see acts you know and love but you also get the opportunity to go on a blind date with artists you have never met. Who is Paper Route? How about Big Data? This is your chance to find out. And, maybe, find love. 9. Flexible tickets options.
Unlike Ultra or Coachella, if there’s only one artist you want to see or one day you can make it, Big Guava doesn’t strong-arm you into buying a whole weekend's worth of tickets. If you can get off work, you can get a general-admission ticket for Friday for $55, while a single-day ticket for Saturday will set you back $70. 8. Run the Jewels.
This hip-hop partnership between El-P and Killer Mike has driven the music world crazy. Here’s your chance to see if they live up to the hype with their first-ever performance in Florida. 7. Diversity.
With four stages, there’s going to be something playing at all times for everybody. From the 300-pound Armenian-American hip-hop of Action Bronson to introspective singer-songwriters like Hozier and Ryan Adams all the way to the electronic music of James Blake and Pretty Lights. 6. TV on the Radio.
The Brooklyn four-piece sounded better and louder than ever when it played a free show during the last Art Basel in Miami. If that show was any indication, the band's 6:30 p.m. Saturday show will challenge the setting sun for brilliance. 5. Free rides.
An underpublicized fact about Big Guava is that your admission includes free rides on all their carnival attractions, from the Tilt-a-Whirl to the Whacky Shack. So if you missed out on the Dade County Youth Fail or you want to get nice and nauseous without drinking, here’s your chance. 4. Pixies.
Yes, the indie rock legends just played SunFest on Sunday. But Pixies didn't play songs like “Bone Machine,” “Caribou,” and “Here Comes Your Man” at SunFest, which were all songs they've played in recent shows. So there's a good chance the band might play a radically different set at Big Guava. The Pixies are scheduled to play only an hour at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Big Guava, but since they are the final band playing the Grove stage, they should be easily persuaded to play an encore or two. 3. Low gas prices.
Odds are, next year's gas prices won’t be under three bucks a gallon. Who knows? Maybe next year supreme leader of the world Kim Jong-un will outlaw music altogether! This might be your last chance! 2. The Strokes.
The Godfathers of Hipster Rock haven’t played in the Sunshine State since 2006 and only have four U.S. dates scheduled thus far for 2015. The garage-rock quintet have the longest set scheduled for Saturday night and will close out the festival on the Big Guava Stage, so expect them to hold nothing back. 1. You don’t have to offend Mom.
The festival is held on Friday and Saturday, leaving Sunday, AKA Mother’s Day, mercifully free. Even with a late start, you’ll have plenty of time to get back home and have dinner with Momma. Just don’t blow all your money on beer or you’ll be left looking for wildflowers on the side of Alligator Alley.
Big Guava Music Festival. Gates open Friday, May 8, at 3 p.m. and Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m. at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre and Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301, Tampa. Call 800-745-3000, or visit bigguavafest.com. Ticket prices cost $55 to $350.