Gasparilla Music Festival

What better way is there to herald in spring than some groovin’ music by the water with friends? Add some bites by some of the best local hot spots and some beautiful weather and it’s pretty much a perfect celebration.

The Gasparilla Music Festival, which pulled in some pretty impressive acts for only it’s second year, was one such weekend. After hearing nothing but all the good things we missed by not attending last year’s inaugural, I was delighted when Nick surprised me with 2-day passes for Christmas.


Almost three months later and we found ourselves donning our festival gear and heading on down to our old stomping grounds across the river from UT.

DSC00016(Floppy hat is a requirement if you have fair hair and skin in Florida…)

The music festival took over the entirety of Curtis Hixon Park for two days of jazzy goodness. That’s two levels, three stages, an alley of food vendors, and a variety of pop-up shops and demonstrations.



I let Nick take the wheel to make sense of the festival program and figure out the three-stage schedule…



While I perused the various food and beverage stands, but got completely distracted by an artist painting the SweetWater Brewing Company trailer…


The man has serious skills.


As always, I insisted on checking out the lineup of food first.


It was not a disappointment. There was much “ooing” and “ahing” over tasty little bits from some of my favorite local restaurants such as Cafe Hey, The Independent, The Refinery and about 16 other food artists, including Anise Global Gastrobar


My curiosity led me to their “Stinky Bunz” which are like tacos but instead of crispy shells, the marinated, flavor-packed filling is piled in puffy, soft, little clouds of doughy heaven.



Having seen and heard about these little beauties before, my expectations were pretty high. The result…


Was happiness…


Pure and utter bliss, actually.


I may have gotten a little carried away.

Once I devoured a couple of the chicken “Bunz” (and Nick laughed at me as I licked ever finger) we headed over for some refreshments to cheers the day.


The SweetWater Beer trailer-art was so impressive, I felt it was only right to order up a tall cup of their blueberry brew…


Finally, with taste-buds satisfied, we headed to the second level to catch the end of Tea Leaf Green and setup our chairs for The Soul Rebels.


We grabbed a grassy square (literally) and plopped down to relax.


Ah yes, grass between the toes – a wonderful sign that spring is upon us.


After a couple hours of dancing with friends, and starting to feel a tad bit crispy from the increasingly strong sun, we  decided to pack it in. The crowds had gotten a bit crazy anyways, which is always a tell-tale sign it’s time to go in my book.


I can only imagine what the crowds for The Flaming Lips was like the day before. I heard they had some seriously… expressive balloons (four letter word style) on stage that ended up floating off across the city.

Heck yeah Tampa!

What a great way to get in the spring spirit!

3 thoughts on “Gasparilla Music Festival

  1. gypsysoul..

    happy to see a fellow blogger from tampa 🙂 thats an interesting post and i regret not going to this one 😀
    hoping to connect 😀

    1. Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle

      Likewise! Thanks for giving me a shout! I always love to connect with those in my hood! Looking forward to talking more.

      The music fest was a lot of fun. I’m already planning to keep an eye out for next year’s tickets.

  2. Gasparilla Music Fest ‘015 | A Dash of Sparkle

    […] becoming one of my favorite starts to the season, is the Gasparilla Music Festival. Last year was my very first soiree into this annual event and it’s become a must-do (at least in my opinion) for any Tampa-ite […]

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