See the camp. The camp is happy. The campers have found Spring Fest 2016 at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida.
It is winter in Florida. Can you see the winter? No, you cannot. It is Florida. The winter is small. The people are happy.
This year’s Spring Fest celebrated 20 years of some of the best music and fun ever to be unleashed on North Florida. Popular bands like The Infamous Stringdusters and Donna and the Buffalo joined classic headliners like John Prine and Jim Lauderdale to bring music back to where it lives. The weather was beautiful and once again, the oak trees along the Suwannee River provided a perfect backdrop for a weekend of camping and singing with good friends, old and new.
Lessons From Spring Fest 2016
- Fancy Camping Is In: With all their glitter and flair, when did campsites begin to resemble Club Boca? Some sites are really becoming ostentatious with the advances in camping equipment and technology. The smokers and outdoor ovens alone are something from of an Arthur C. science fiction film. The Disk King hauls around a 33 foot mobile home equipped with dancing laser lights and a bubble machine. Don’t forget the lollipops. The rave is on. With the advent of hanging tents, hammock villages, and massive yurts, things are only getting fancier for the primitive camper and why not, they deserve it.
- Bullwhips Can Be Fun: There’s nothing quite as entertaining as sitting back in your lawn chair and watching folks learn to crack a bullwhip. The Dead Cat Society of Fort Myers donated two whips for demonstrations, clinics, and open practice. Watching rednecks and hippies shear off layers of epidermis can be quality entertainment. The next time you venture to the bat house, come by and test your cracker skills. Make it pop one time and receive a free tub of Bactine. Tattoo removal service and medical attention available upon request.
who<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Lucienda Rosalita at Spring Fest 2016 wondering when someone will get her smaller hula hoop. <a href=”https://twitter.com/SOSMP”>@SOSMP</a> <a href=”https://t.co/XfMMF3b8uG”>pic.twitter.com/XfMMF3b8uG</a></p>— Jason Nail (@NailTravels) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NailTravels/status/712316864689479681″>March 22, 2016</a></blockquote>
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- Florida Winters Kill: The quick sprinkles (great name for a band) were so mild and brief that the only thing the winter killed was our desire to go further north during the cold and flu season. The light rain allowed the Floridians to dress out in their best imitation winter gear, which still hold warmth and hides scars. The season’s biggest surprises were colored rain boots as ladies strutted their puddle jumpers hither and yon. All in all, tie dyed art and dripping beads still held their own as traditional favorites while bear grease and ponchos made appearances near the main stage. Thanks again to Grits and Soul who melted our face with some of the cleanest soulgrass around. Anna and John mix up every kind of music they knew in a pot and poured their own honky-tonk gumbeaux over the croud. Check out their website to see where they will drop the next bluegrass bomb.
- Lyrics?: The question is; How much of a song needs to be remembered for it to qualify as a relevant effort? For years, the industry standard for campfire excellence has always been at least one verse and the chorus. For most people, that’s enough to get their money’s worth, if for only for a minute, and while the folks at Camp Happiness had lofty goals to remember words, it was plainly clear from the beginning that this was not going to be the case. Every song in the repertoire had lyrics that were omitted, forgotten, or replaced regardless or age or popularity. At most times, it was truly an effort in genuine silliness and higher levels of practice and commitment will, no doubt, be expected in the future. Thank goodness the Virginia-based, Mimosa Sisters occasionally took the reins and, like the muses of Greek mythology, inspired the chorus with their angelic renditions.
Not To Be Forgotten: After is was all said and done, the weekend provided some of the finest live music available. Some of the best performances of the weekend included classic numbers like “Blood On the Guitar”, “Ghost Parade”, “I Really Have No Problem Blaming You”, “Dirty Old Men”, and a stirring rendition of “Oak Leaves In My Mimosa” which left not a dry eye in the house. This is the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. This is where music lives! Keep your eyes open for Magnolia Fest information and the next show coming to the park.
Nail Travels works with DreamSpider Publicity and Events to bring you festival information and updates all year. Visit the DreamSpider website and follow their social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Many thanks for keeping us involved with this family. Work aint work when yer havin fun.
— Jason Nail (@NailTravels) March 22, 2016
What was your favorite Spring Fest 2016 memory?