On day four, SunFest festivities in downtown West Palm Beach took a decidedly EDM turn as flocks of teens donning white tanks, neon sweatbands, bikini tops and every possible kind of booty-short flooded the grounds lining the intracoastal waterway. The vibe was a lot less like the "mini Woodstock" my dad described from his memories of the '80s SunFests, and much more like a mutant offspring of Miami's annual rave spectacle, Ultra.
After days of heavy rain, flooding finally gave way to clear skies and summer temperatures, adding fuel to those already amped for Life in Color, "the World's Largest Paint Party." The headlining event at the Ford main stage delivered five hours of non-stop EDM shreddage, accompanied by beat-matched cannon blasts of water-soluble dayglo body paint splattered across the crowd.
For the first two hours, a massive digital clock on stage counted down the seconds until 8 p.m., when the cannons would release their blasts and Miami's DJ David Solano would begin his set. Apart from the sizable crowd already pumping their fists to the music at the Ford stage, throngs of tanned bodies swarmed the three Captain Morgan Floating Oasis barges tied up to the seawall, where DJs played a range of typical dance club bangers along with some more laid back disco tunes.
While the younger crowd was clearly more driven by the electronic offerings of Saturday's festival lineup, there was definitely no shortage of buff soccer mom types in fluorescent athletic wear jumping up and down by the DJ booths and gray-haired dudes in fishing T's and baseball caps lingering at the bars. Young or old, everyone was more or less on the same page: full-on party mode.