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A Day at Gasparilla Music Festival

Gasparilla Music Festival, which takes place in downtown Tampa, Florida is now in it's 4th year. Every year the lineup gets bigger, this year offering indie heavyweights like Modest Mouse, and a great list of supporters including The Gaslight Anthem and Mutemath. Four stages are spread throughout Curtis Hixon Park, on the Tampa river front, as the buildings surrounded the park which made a beautiful backdrop for a great event. Tickets were sold out, and the park was packed.  

The Food: Half the fun of going to a music festival is trying new food from the local eateries (and it's a weekend, so who cares about your diet.) The food selection was more superb than most festivals in Florida. We tried Pork Tamales, fresh fried donuts, and don't even get me started on the spicy mac n cheese they had, I wish I could remember where it was from because it was excellent. Let me know, Tampa. 

The Activities: This year, there was a silent disco perched on top of the upper deck of the festival, and as soon as it began, the crowd rushed in and danced like a group of mad men as three dj's performed on different channels. You could see it from almost everywhere in the festival. It was definitely a big hit. 

The Music: One thing that is nice about Gasparilla is that they give every band a full set, instead of the standard hour most festivals offer. Modest Mouse played a fantastic career spanning set with songs including "Dramamine," "Fire It Up," "Satin in a Coffin," "Float On," and "Lampshades On Fire." The sound on the stage was tight and the band seemed happy to be playing live again. The Gaslight Anthem were incredible.  Halfway through the set they stopped to get the entire crowd to sing happy birthday to Cole, whom was turning 10. "Go to college, and don't take drugs, it's all down hill from here man" Brian Fallon told the kid. The crowd laughed and played along. Mutemath were definitely a highlight of the event. I forgot how much I enjoyed them as it's been a while since they've been around. They played a mixture of crowd favorites and new tracks, and, probably gained a lot of new fans. Dumpstaphunk were a pleasant surprise. We headed over to the stage we could hear this jammy funky music lofting through the air, as we pushed through a sea of people and clouds of smoke. They were the most high energy set I've seen in a long time, and the crowd was feeding into it. I hope to see them again soon.

Next year, make sure you head to Tampa for Gasparilla Music Festival. The prices are affordable and you get what you pay for, plus some more. It's a great event and hopefully they can keep growing.


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