MagnoliaFest Ready to Rock the Suwannee Again
12th Annual Music Festival Features the Best in Roots & Jam Rock
One of the most highly-regarded music festivals anywhere, MagnoliaFest returns to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL October 23-26. MagFest, as the festival is affectionately called, is the festival that introduced the moss-draped Suwannee to the roots and jam audience. Many festivals have come and gone over the past 12 years, but only a few have managed to truly become destinations like MagnoliaFest has. A documentary film about the festival, "Music Farmers," appeared on PBS TV stations nationwide last year. The film illustrates how MagFest combines music, art, culture, camping, and community to create a festival that draws loyal fans year after.
|MagFest - Spirit of the Suwannee by Nick Atlas|
This year's MagnoliaFest highlights the influence of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Several former GD members and their related projects are set to appear along with an established core of other MagFest favorites and talented newcomers. MagnoliaFest actually began in 1997 as Big Cosmo's Sunshine Daydream weekend and was dedicated to the music and spirit of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Garcia. The name was changed to MagnoliaFest the following year to avoid conflict with another similarly-named event and evolved into a roots and jam festival that has presented everyone from The String Cheese Incident and Little Feat to Big Brother & The Holding Co.
The festival kicks off on Thursday October 23 with headline sets scheduled from The Lee Boys and former GD vocalist Donna Jean & the Tricksters. Friday includes a headline set from Melvin Seals & JGB. Saturday finds an exciting new trio dubbed KBM. Led by former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann that also features Allman Brothers and ARU bassist Oteil Burbridge and Max Creek and Mike Gordon guitarist Scott Murawski. Besides lots of GD material, KBM also is developing new original songs with lyrics by none other than former Dead songwriter Robert Hunter. KBM Has a three-hour set scheduled Saturday, October 25. Also appearing Saturday is newgrass master Sam Bush and his band.
Festival favorites performing at MagFest include New York roots rockers Donna the Buffalo, The Avett Brothers, The Duhks, Moonalice, as well as Peter Rowan who will be leading MagnoliaFest's all-star bluegrass tribute to the late fiddler Vassar Clements on Sunday. Rowan will also be performing with his brothers Chris and Loren. In all, over 30 bands will appear on four stages over the festival's four full days.
While the music festival world expands, MagnoliaFest remains committed to presenting a music experience completely unlike any other. The festival takes place in an intimate, naturally breathtaking environment that takes pride in being truly family-friendly. MagnoliaFest attracts about 7,000 people, most of whom are longtime fans. These fans have helped the festival become a true community of music lovers who share of themselves and their passion freely. The campground jamming is much like a bluegrass festival, but the wide-ranging variety of music is more akin to larger music events.
For complete information including secure ticket and lineup, visit the MagnoliaFest website at www.magmusic.com.