Suwannee Roots Revival 2016

INTRODUCING: Suwannee Roots Revival | Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak, FL | October 13-16, 2016

by • July 15, 2016

Earlier this year, Magnolia Festival announced it would be downsizing and moving to St. Augustine. Mag Fest, a twenty-year-old escape from reality nestled in the friendly womb of Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, is a Roots music festival. But such a concise description falls well shy of explaining the importance of the weekend.

My father and I bonded over motorcycles when I was in my early-twenties. The open road was our place to let go of familial pretense and simply be friends. Our bikes were dreamcatchers opening portals to honesty and authenticity — the bridge that helped us connect childhood to adulthood.

Then he began to age. Riding the bike was not quite so easy after a certain stage in life. I fell in love and started to worry more about the consequences of my actions. A spiritual void was created by the slowly forming chasm between our desires and the reality of our maturity. Our motorcycles lost the game of chicken we were playing with our mortality.

Suwannee Roots Revival

Click Here to Buy Tickets to Suwannee Roots Revival ($155)

Don’t ask how we ended up choosing a roots music festival to replace motorcycling road trips. Perhaps our Kentucky births put us in mutual reverence for bluegrass and folk in an oak canopy. Maybe our choice had something to do with getting away from society’s boundaries and expectations.

Magnolia Festival and its sister, Springfest, became a substitute for the road. Mag Fest moving away from paradise created a spiritual void not easily filled. Enter: Suwannee Roots Revival — four days of camping, music, and Suwannee magic at the happiest place on the planet. The huge names of the past (Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, et. al) may be absent from this inaugural event, but the quality of music has not suffered a bit.

Newgrass legends Leftover Salmon, brilliant instrumentalist Sam Bush, the incomparable Suwannee veterans The Wood Brothers, up and coming bluegrass pickers Town Mountain, actor and musician Col. Bruce Hampton (Sling Blade, Space Ghost Coast to Coast), and one of this author’s favorite Suwannee performers ever, Jon Stickley Trio, are all on the bill. So are Shows I Go To favorites Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Jim Lauderdale, and Donna the Buffalo.

Tickets for the four-day festival were a comically low ($155) and even with the increase, Roots Revival will be worth every penny. Plus, the festival is offering an interest-free payment plan so you can spread out the cost of admission.

Mag Fest is gone from Suwannee but in its place rises a fellowship-forward revival of musicianship and love. The trees will rustle with jam sessions stretching into the wee hours, followed by breakfast cooked over a campfire and organic bonding sessions forged as only a place like Suwannee can allow.

Click Here to Buy Tickets to Suwannee Roots Revival ($155)

Suwannee Roots Revival Preview by Jason Earle, edited by Matthew Weller.


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