I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer and attend the Gasparilla Music Festival this past weekend.
A few weeks beforehand I decided to sign up to volunteer since in my experience I get more out of an event if I’m apart of it, and it’s a great way to meet some new local people. The Thursday before the Festival I met up for the Box Office training. The first thing I noticed was that the people organizing this event were ORGANIZED. After volunteering at quite a few local events, I always feel like that’s one thing that is always lacking.
The next thing that completely took me back is the Gasparilla Music Festival is a Non-Profit 501c. Their mission is to create a sustainable community event for the Tampa Bay region while promoting arts education and benefiting local organizations and businesses. — Yes, yes, yes! Supporting the Tampa community!
I arrived around 2PM. My shift started at 3, but I wanted to check-in, grab a beer, wander around & change into my volunteer shirt. The morning had started pretty rough, it was dreary and overcast. By the time I got there, things really had cleared up. The sun was shining and people were coming in by the droves!
The Festival had so much great food that really focused on what Tampa has to offer. Each local restaurant focused on one or two items, which was nice! It gave festival-goers the option to try lots of things.
The Festival had three stages. Two main stages, one in Curtis Hixon, and the other in the corner of Kiley Gardens. The third stage was the Kiley Gardens Amphitheater to showcase local acoustic/singer/song writers.
I ended my shift at roughly 7:30 and went to meet up with friends. The sun had set, and this is where the magic began. Walking around the park, I felt that familiar sense of pride I have, I love Tampa. (Side note: If you’re newer to Tampa, Curtis Hixon Hall once stood on these grounds. Artists like, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Rush and Cat Stevens played there!) The lighting was fantastic and created a wonderful atmosphere. I stood at the top of the amphitheater just taking it all in for awhile.
Ra Ra Riot closed the day on the main stage. They were a fun group with tons of energy. Hello string instruments!
I really enjoyed that this festival gave me the opportunity to hear of a lot of bands I hadn’t heard of before. I really enjoyed the Distinguished Men of Brass and Rebirth Brass Band, who I would have never heard of otherwise! I hope this is something to stay with the festival over the upcoming years.
Overall this was a great night, and I can’t wait to see what Gasparilla Music Festival has to offer for future. I look forward to volunteering again and rocking out :]