Wanee Festival 2013 in Live Oak, Florida: April 18th – 20th

Wanee Festival is back and ready for action! The festival calls the beautiful Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida home – a grounds area that also hosts Blackwater Music Festival, Bear Creek, Aura Music Festival and a number of others. Taking place from April 18th – April 20th, Wanee is a celebration of the simple things in life; good people, good music, and positive energy.

While this year’s lineup is sure to generate discussion over the lack of electronic music or more radio-friendly modern acts, the die-hard fans are sure to be primed and ready. Last year’s big surprise of Further is officially a one year experiment and the Wanee regular co-headliner of Widespread Panic is back to accompany their host The Allman Brothers Band for another jam packed year.

wanee2013_0This year’s lineup has a strong sense of the Allman Brother’s classic southern jam partners as in previous festivals in ’07 & ’08 as the classics are sure to be found. A few new acts have found their way to Live Oak, Florida. Michael Franti & Spearhead are sure to add to the already intoxicating good vibe found throughout the weekend. Another new set of faces to the Wanee stage is that of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. An incredibly accomplished steel guitarist, Robert Randolph has played with the likes of Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews and countless others as he has steadily built a huge family of followers over the past twelve years. Personally, respect is almost automatic when discussing the act who is asked to cover “Purple Haze” on the  Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix EP. With the high volume of returning acts, I’ve pegged Robert Randolph & the Family Band as the best new act coming to Wanee this year.

Tower of Power has been a funk-a-delic force since the early 70’s. The front-man saxophonist Emilio Castillo with his Detroit roots, has been blazing a trail through the music scene the last 40 years. Proving to me this horn heavy outfit has the lungs to breathe some energy into the Wanee faithful. Royal Southern Brotherhood is one of the last new acts added to this year’s lineup. Most members have all been to Wanee in other forms but this collaboration based on their 2012 EP will be sure to get your attention. Led by a the truly royal bloodline of Devon Allman and Cyril Neville, this rock rooted band has the talent and fervor to take the stage over. I saw this act earlier this year and they had me from the word go. Backed by Grammy award winner Mike Zito, this band fuses rock, blues, and jazz into a collaboration that is sure to be around for a while.

As a member of the Wanee attendees the last 4 years, this is assuredly the best festival I have ever attended. The camping is close, the music is undeniably astounding, and the people are incredibly nice. No, like stupid nice. Wanee is the total package of a good time.

Tickets for the festival are still on sale and available for $215.00 plus applicable fees. – Scott Corkery

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