The ten-year anniversary of the Wanee Music Festival exploded everyone’s expectations. With hundreds of fans dressed in flower ensembles, band T-shirts and tie dye everything imaginable, the atmosphere seemed to have this chameleon-ability to alter your state of mind into complete bliss. From April 10 to 12, people from all walks of life came to enjoy the music. The cast of characters is truly unique to Suwannee, somewhat like jamming together pieces from incongruent puzzle sets.
I witnessed as crowds fell in love with each performance. Friday night, Dumpstaphunk had the crowd pulsating at the Mushroom Stage with their Zeppelin set. Warren Haynes from Gov’t Mule joined in for a few songs as everyone danced, jumped and spun in the multi-colored lights.
Over at the Peach Stage, The Allman brothers and the hosts of the festival had everyone hovering over and packed to its full capacity. Fans sang along and sipped their drinks, enjoying classics like “Midnight Rider” and “Whipping Post.”
Other artists such as Break Science, Umphrey’s McGee, Moe, and Tedeschi Trucks Band, pleased crowds of adrenaline-soaked music junkies. There was barely any space for hula-hoops as they glistened amid the spectacles and amongst the trees.
As the sunset, campsites fired-up, playing instruments throughout the night. Drum circles began their beats, harmonicas, guitars, saxophones; any instruments people could get their hands on were playing. With fire-hoops ablaze, the stars flared into the midnight sky and musicians continued to satisfy everyone’s cravings for good music. As strangers stormed and stumbled onto different campsites, new friends were lurking at every turn.
Wanee was an image from a dream, with clusters of crazy, outrageous outfits and gnomes spotted throughout the stages and tents. The scene at Suwannee Music Park is truly captivating and contagious to anyone who goes even once. You’ll come to encounter some really genuine souls and surrender yourselves to the night.
words & photos_tiffany yancey.