This past weekend the Mic Drop team had the privilege to cover Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa, Florida and what an experience it was. Going on it’s eight consecutive year, GMF has become a staple in the Tampa area as a great event for all ages. Bringing together good music, food, drinks, creating an atmosphere of fun for the whole family. What sets the festival apart for the rest is it’s charitable spin. The festival is held to raise money to benefit music in schools in the Tampa area, by an incredible foundation called Recycled Tunes.
Day one was full of amazing local acts, one of the first bands we caught was Uncle John’s Band, who you may know as the house band down at Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa. UJB is a Greatful Dead cover band who play every Thursday night at Skippers, bringing down the house with classic jam band vibes. Following Uncle John’s Band, we got to caught Magic City Hippies out of Orlando, delivering easily one of the best sets of the weekend. A versatile set list of original songs as well as some memorable covers like Caroline by Amine and Suede by Anderson .Paak.
As the afternoon faded to night, the action really lit up with Toro Y Moi. He had the sunset set on main stage and truly brought the funk. Running through songs from his new album Outer Peace, as well as his old records. After Toro’s dance party the night was ready to begin and from here we found ourselves at The Pharacyde. The beats were banging and it felt like a real west coast party, smoke and all, as the guys rapped through their greatest hits.
We closed out night one with the silent disco overlooking the Hillsborough River, accompanied by the music Avett Brothers. The band of brothers brought good vibes and rock and roll for all of Tampa to hear.
We rallied for day two with Jared & the Mill rocking to start the day, even covering “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow. Following them was The Hails, a young band out of Gainesville, Florida mimicking a vibe like Tame Impala and bringing a large crowd. The Beths came all the way from New Zealand to play songs from their new album Future Me Hates Me. My personal high note of the day was Lukas Nelson jamming on guitar, playing “Shallow” from A Star Is Born.
Overall, Gasparilla Music Festival left me thoroughly impressed. It was a great time for all, bringing a little something for everyone to the Tampa area. As they continue to grow in the coming years, we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this one-of-a kind event.