311's Pow Wow Festival Could Destroy Spirit of Suwannee in August

Update: Read Christopher Lopez's rebuttal, "311's Pow Wow Festival is What the Spirit of Suwannee is All About."

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is the hippie hideaway of

Florida. From up and down the coast, live music enthusiasts gather to frolic in

the woods and hula hoop in the fields. Fans of Florida's version of Jazz Fest,

Bear Creek, make the annual trip in November to get their horny fix, among

other musical delights. In the springtime, there's Wanee, a mix of retired

bikers and next generation retro jammers who love nothing more than a dose of

"Sweet Melissa" from the famed Allman Brothers Band. Toss in a few other

intimate audio gatherings, and Suwannee's bill has its regular loyal following


And, while this haven in Live Oak, Florida delivers some

unforgettable performances in an unparalleled venue (it's top three on my

festival escapes list in the country), it's also known for its high presence of

shakedown sheriffs. That's right, undercovers clad in Grateful Dead T's might

even pass you a joint, just to catch you in the act. Which brings us to today's

big news: 311 Pow Wow Festival, Thursday, August 4 through Saturday, August 6.

The first-ever festival of its kind, the initial lineup features Nick Hexum and

the gang from 311, Sublime with Rome, Deftones,

G. Love, SOJA, the Dirty Heads, Reel Big Fish, Ozomatli, Streelight

Manifesto, The Supervillains,

Ballyhoo, DJ Soulman and DJ Trichrome.

The delicate grounds of Suwannee are about to receive an

amplified stomping like never before. And, while the hippie kids certainly are

no stranger to the term "rage," they have a respect for nature we're not so

sure these semi-skankers heading to the Pow Wow will quite be able to identify with.

It seems an unlikely venue, with a lineup catered to fans

who aren't so much the camping type. Post Deftones, the last thing I can

picture is a bunch of punk kids gathering around the campfire singing to

acoustic guitars. This crew is much likelier to bum rush the bat house and howl

for the night creatures' dissent. A wise word to Suwannee: You might want to

reneg the golf cart privileges on this one. If DUIs via golf cart didn't exist

before, I'm sure they will now.

Three cheers for Suwannee diversifying itself, but the staff

might want to implement an extra-large cleanup crew rowing up and down the

Suwannee River. Hold on to your stashes and stay clear of the 5-0. Try not to

trample the chipmunks. Hopefully, the tainted aura will wash itself clean by the

time the regulars return in the fall.  

Early Bird tickets for 311 Pow Wow Fest are on sale through

June 9, the rest of you skankers can scoop 'em on June 10 at 10 a.m.

Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind. 


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Tracy Block