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.