It is in the heart of Tampa, Florida that couples were seen freely dancing, a woman frolicked from stage to stage with an unforgettable blue Mohawk, flower crowns dressed the heads of many and music flowed through the ears of anyone walking by. It is here that 10,000 people gathered as they geared up for the sold out Gasparilla Music Festival.
On March 7, Tampa Bay witnessed a flood of people setting up camp at the Soulshine Stage in preparation for one of the most iconic indie rock bands of this generation: Modest Mouse. This, however, was only one of several notable headliners such as the Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Mutemath.
Gasparilla Music Festival is a fairly young showcase of musical talent and is a not-for-profit organization. According to the festival executives, its purpose is to foster and support the cultural life of the Tampa Bay Area by exhibiting a stellar musical line-up, ranging from local Floridian bands to Grammy Award-winning bands. Not only is culture promoted through music, but through the eclectic Tampa Bay food that permeated the air and local vendors and artists that set-up shop throughout the festival grounds.
“I really enjoyed the festival,” thesis student Aric Smith said. “The weather was perfect and the bands were outstanding, especially Modest Mouse. It was really cool getting to see them perform after they just released their first album since 2007 only a couple days prior to the festival.”