For years Suwannee Music Park has been home to festivals filled with down to earth souls and incredible artists that live the lives of free-spirited hippies. Located in Live Oak, right below the Georgia line, Suwannee River is filled with Spanish Moss and Cypress trees towering above that set the scene for relaxation, and fun-filled days camping out with some of the best people you will ever meet. It’s the perfect get-away from your usual traffic and day-to-day here in Miami.
This secret little weapon, that is the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park can give you the weekend you’d never thought imaginable, away from school, internships and your real life. For those of you not into camping, a camping-music-festival will change your perceptions, cure your problems and make you crave the atmosphere again and again.
Now when we hear festival, especially those of us from Miami, we think Ultra. This festival is not full of thirteen year olds trying to black out and bang their heads so hard they fall off. The Suwannee Springfest is a festival on another caliber of entertainment. When you get there, you feel like your living on another planet. Everyone is so friendly and trusting, giving away and selling their artwork and jewelry filled with DMT, crystals and skin-cells that you can wear around your neck.
The entire weekend was filled with sun-soaked memories and Bluegrass music that filled your ears and soul with good vibes. Different bands like the Punch Brothers and the Steep Canyon Rangers pleased the crowd for hours. Greensky’s rapidly growing fan base filled the chairs, hammocks and entire venue Friday night.
With three different stages, an outdoor street bazaar and unlimited amounts of beer, there was never a dull moment. Saturday, the amphitheater was bustling with fans of Sam Bush and Donna the Buffalo. Del McCoury teased the crowd and made us all laugh before every song, with his true gentleman spirit. Countless bands played all around the park showing us their amazing skills as festival goers danced, hula-hooped and blew giant bubbles, it seemed like something out of a dream.
Saturday night the Avett Brothers killed it and had everyone singing along. They stole the show as they sang, kicked and captured our hearts.
At night when the music died down from the stages, everyone returned to the camping grounds and played their guitars and harmonicas with strangers hopping from site to site in the pitch black darkness, guided only by the sweet sounds and small fires. The legendary jam sessions at the dotted campfires are one of the secret treasures of Suwanee. Every so often you will stumble upon true musicians that will keep drawing you back. Everyone sang and listened to strangers throughout the night and only when the sun rose again did the music begin to fade into silence as the bands began to set up their equipment for the next show on the big stage.
Sunday the festival died down as people slept in or packed up to return to their busy schedules and mundane lives. The weekend was pure bliss, enjoyed by fans of all ages. If you have the chance to go, even once to a festival in Suwannee, it is an experience you will never forget.
words and photos_tiffany yancey.