Night of the Dead Jam Fest Joins Fort Lauderdale's Day of the Dead Celebrations

Fort Lauderdale's Day of the Dead celebrations just got bigger.
Fort Lauderdale's Day of the Dead celebrations just got bigger.
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Every November, Day of the Dead festivities draw droves of South Floridians to Fort Lauderdale's Huizenga Plaza to reconnect with the spirits of their lost loved ones. But this year, when the parade has finished and the humidity has melted participants' sugar-skull makeup, there'll be even more partying to come.

Night of the Dead, a street party at Revolution Live, will extend the November 2 festivities into the next day. Dark Star Orchestra, Galactic, and the Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio will take the stage November 3 for the event. The fest marks a big expansion for Fort Lauderdale's Day of the Dead celebrations, which already rank among the largest in the nation.

Dark Star Orchestra, a band of primarily white musicians from Chicago, might not seem like the most appropriate headliner for an event honoring the traditions and beliefs of Mexico's Aztec people. But hey, these guys are a Grateful Dead cover band, and Dia de los Muertos is essentially a day to feel grateful for your dead friends and family. Dark Star Orchestra re-creates entire set lists from past Grateful Dead performances, essentially bringing a long-lost experience back to life. Yeah, it's kind of a stretch, but South Florida's jam-band community probably won't mind.

Also on the lineup are Galactic, a New Orleans jam band known for its collaborations with an eclectic range of artists, including Boots Riley, Macy Gray, and Mavis Staples; and the trio led by guitarist Bobby Lee Rodgers, who's performed alongside Jimmie Vaughan, Blackfoot, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The fest also promises mariachi music and food and craft vendors. An afterparty featuring the Grateful Dead tribute band Crazy Fingers will begin at midnight inside Revolution.

Early-bird tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 22, for $25. The price increases to $30 Friday, August 24, and again to $38.50 Sunday, September 9.

Night of the Dead. With Dark Star Orchestra, Galactic, and Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio. 3 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; jointherevolution.net. Tickets cost $25 to $38.50 via ticketmaster.com.

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