Every fall retirees Tim, Lori and their pup Penelope roll south on their own “Florida festival tour.” Towing a vintage Airstream trailer, home is wherever the music is playing.
With a penchant for bluegrass and country, they’re also fans of gospel, folk and Americana. Musicians themselves, they while away blissful winters beneath Spanish moss-draped oaks and warm blue skies. Days and evenings are jam sessions with friends old and new. Penelope has plenty to wag about too at these dog-friendly venues.
From October through May, Tim and Lori join legions of outdoor music and camping fans on Florida’s Adventure Coast. Balmy days flow gently into fresh star-filled nights. Music wafts steadily in the background or soars from center stage as people visit, dance and forget what day of the week it is.
There is a timelessness to outdoor music events that transcends generations. Surging in popularity, attendance is high among baby boomers, families, seniors and social media-loving millennials. Mega festivals like SXSW and Coachella are blockbuster events, selling out in hours and drawing huge crowds. According to Nielson Music in 2014, a staggering 32 million people attended at least one music festival.
Billboard.com reports that 903 miles is the average distance people travel to go to a U.S. Music Festival.
On Florida’s Adventure Coast, fantastic weather and waves of traveling talent converge mainly at Brooksville’s Sertoma Youth Ranch and nearby Florida Classic Park. Nearly every weekend, events showcase musical acts from Blues to Celtic to Southern Rock to Americana. The full spectrum of country music is also well represented.
Many festivals, like Sertoma’s 30th Annual Will McLean Music Festival March 8-10, the 42nd Annual Spring Bluegrass Festival March 20-24, May’s 10th Annual Orange Blossom Jamboree and November’s 40th Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival are beloved calendar fixtures.
By popular demand, new outdoor music events make Florida’s Adventure Coast a must-visit music mecca. Premiering March 15-17, Blues Bash at the Ranch is a new spring blues festival, bookending the popular season-opener in October: Camping with the Blues.
Like sun shining through newly green and flowering trees, music is in the air at other iconic spring Adventure Coast events. Talented performers take the stage at the new Florida Mermaid Festival March 16. And the Hernando Symphony performance of Pops in the Park delights visitors to Brooksville’s Art in the Park March 9-10.
Marking 50-years since the event that started it all, the Spirit of Woodstock Festival is set for August 16-18. Expect loads of peace, love and flower power with the stellar musical line-up.
Like a lot of people, Tim and Lori like their televisions, smartphones and iPads. For them and others though, there’s no equal to being present for live outdoor music events. Reconnecting with friends and other fans in a pretty country setting is both relaxing and energizing.
Love for music in the outdoors, getting up close to talent and being with other enthusiasts in real time is an unrivaled experience.
Fall, winter and spring outdoor events around Florida’s Adventure Coast endure as places for people (and dogs) to socialize and share the moment. Check the website event calendar often so you don’t miss a thing.