Gasparilla Music Fest 2019 will be the best in event history, here’s why

Wait no longer, the Gasparilla Music Festival is this weekend, folks!

That’s right, Tank and the Bangas, Gary Clark Jr., the Avett Brothers, Toro y Moi, and Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club will soon be gracing the main stage at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park along with other acts at Kiley Gardens, Ferman Amphitheater, and more.

But, there is so much more to know and experience from the festival, so here is a little of what you need to know.

Photo by Ysanne Taylor for Gasparilla Music Festival

GMF and the Recycled Tunes Program

The Gasparilla Musical Festival (GMF) is actually the annual celebration of music from the 501(c)-3 non-profit, Gasparilla Music Foundation, which supports music education throughout Tampa Bay. Yes, while some festivals are all about taking Instagram pictures in fringed shirts, GMF’s two-day festival philanthropically supports local schools and music programs by providing free musical instruments and music education scholarships.

“This festival is a big undertaking, but it is worth it as it allows us to give back to Title 1 schools in the area,” said David Cox, Executive Director of the Gasparilla Music Foundation.

Photo by Ysanne Taylor for Gasparilla Music Festival

In fact, GMF’s Recycled Tunes program – which enriches the lives of impoverished children in the area with access to musical instruments – has donated more than 400 refurbished instruments to locals schools and music programs since 2013. Recycled Tunes makes this possible by exchanging these instruments for tickets to the…Gasparilla Music Festival! Wow, who knew?

In addition, GMF recently partnered with Little Kids Rock, a national organization helping students and teachers nurture lasting music programs. And, you can see Hillsborough County’s Little Kids Rock live on stage on Sunday, March 10th at 12:45pm inside the Ferman Amphitheater.

Check this out for more info on the GMF Kid Fest – “the fest within the fest” happening at Gasparilla Music Festival.

The food at the festival is bomb

After you have dried your eye thinking about kids getting their first electric guitar, tie that handkerchief around your neck because it is time to chow down.

Some of Tampa’s best restaurants are serving grub this weekend. Big Ray’s Fish Camp will be serving its last-meal-level Grouper Sandwich, Ella’s Folk Art Cafe has a Chicken and Waffle Sandwich for your hunger pains, Haven & Elevage will be treating concert-goers with  Smoked Chicken Wings & Korean Beef Wraps and Nebraska Mini Mart is serving Mole Pork Tostada & Mole Butternut Squash. And this is just a few of the many vendors that will be on hand to stomp the Wah-Wah pedal of your tastebuds – See the full lineup here.

Photo by Ysanne Taylor for Gasparilla Music Festival

Photo by Ysanne Taylor for Gasparilla Music Festival


Show your local Florida peeps some love

Of course, letting a Gary Clark Jr. guitar solo coarse through your blood along with some mole pork is reason enough to hit this festival, but GMF always does a great job of showcasing Florida talent specifically Tampa talent.

This year is no different as Tribal Style, Fever Beam, Gats$, Glove, J’Nelle, Jordan Esker and the Hundred Percent, Fr33dback, Hannah Harber and the Lionhearts, and Venus Bleu are just a few of the many Florida artists to check out – see the full lineup here.

“We are super excited for the lineup this year and we have an incredible roster of local bands giving very intimate performances,” Cox added.

Besides working with the youth of Tampa Bay, GMF Productions also helps aspiring musicians find paid work performing their own music. Most recently, GMF has partnered with Sparkman Wharf and the HART system where local musicians have performed for streetcar riders.

“So far we have booked 450 gigs across the city,” Cox stated..

All of this is just another reason to get out and support this great local event.

Here is this weekend’s music schedule.

Get your tickets here!

Photo by Ysanne Taylor for Gasparilla Music Festival

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