By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent
This was the second annual Big Guava Music Festival which was held between May 8th and May 9th, 2015 at the Mid-Florida Amphitheatre/Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. The weekend was unusually hot and sunny, so the 20-something festival go’ers spent the weekend dressed in shorts and t-shirts and gulped bottled water while attempting to stay cool. The 25-plus bands were featured at four stages located within the fairgrounds with names like “Big Guava Stage” (amphitheatre) and “Nectar Stage” (inside the fairgrounds air-conditioned Expo Hall). Two additional stages were located near the Box Office and in a grassy fairground field.
There were plenty of food trucks serving not only traditional carnival fare (you-name-it fried) but also Thai and Greek food, barbecued beef and pork, gluten-free arepas (cachapas), and healthy treats. Of course, the famous Taco Bus, craft beers, and gourmet coffees and lattes (try “Red Velvet cocoa”) were available for the persnickety crew. There were plenty of places to sit down (picnic tables) and thrill rides if one desired. The festival was very well-organized, clean, and offered plenty of restrooms.
The crowds, even though the heat was blistery, were very well-behaved and respectful. I did not witness any incidences and the whole festival was actually pretty mellow. Even watching rap star/gourmet chef Action Bronson on the Nectar Stage appeared to be pretty sedate. Maybe the heat calmed him down too!
I noticed most of the bands appeared to lean toward the hipster or 20-something crowd (Run the Jewels, Hozier, Ryan Adams, Pretty Lights) but there were a few bands Generation X’ers would appreciate (Pixies, The Strokes). Overall, the music was enjoyable and the festival was a nice relaxing way to end the string of Spring festivals. I look forward to Fall when festival season starts up again and of course, next year to Big Guava!
Friday, May 8th–Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, AWOLNATION, Pretty Lights, Dreamers, Milky Chance, Jenny Lewis, Ryan Adams, Robert DeLong, Big Data, Passion Pit, FMLYBND, X Ambassadors, Ex-Cops, Iration
Saturday, May 9th–Cold War Kids, Hozier, The Strokes, Reptar, Zella Day, A Silent Film, Death from Above 1979, TV on the Radio, Pixies, Action Bronson, Run the Jewels, Banks, James Blake, Sunbears!, Night Riots, Paper Route, Empries, Lydia, Skylar Spence, Classixx
Death from Above 1979
Various Photos from the Festival
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I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. I travel between the US and UK seeking my dream! My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse