Mighty Oak Fest

Published on August 2nd, 2014

Mighty Oak Festival PureHoneyThe strong local lineup of the Mighty Oak Music Festival is enough to reignite your belief in both the diversity and quality across the Florida music scene.  This first year DIY fest is planting its roots in Jacksonville over two days, August 15 and 16.

Festival organizers Jonathan Narallah and Andrew Chafin have been scowering just about every breed of music they could find across their Florida scene, citing indie, folk, electronic, and punk as the general blend of genres they have cherry picked from to create the Mighty Oak experience. The FSU roommates grew up in Jacksonville, going to shows together throughout middle school and high school, but it wasn’t until college that they cut their teeth on the “DIY” music scene via their involvement with the Total Bummer fest.

“I had been interested in throwing my own fest for a while, and things just fell into place to work out this summer,” says Jonathan.  “We initially thought about doing the fest in Tallahassee, but right now it doesn’t have the infrastructure to do something like Mighty Oak.  Most shows happen at houses, and there aren’t many venues walking distance from each other”.  The guys immediately turned to their hometown of Jacksonville, where Jonathan recognizes, “everyone in the city (Jacksonville) is on the same page as far as artistic, cultural and technological ambition goes.”

The official venues for the fest are Rain Dogs, Deep Search Records, and Sun-Ray Cinema, which Jonathan promises you can navigate between inside of four minutes.  “We’re making sure to stagger the schedule so someone could theoretically catch 15 minutes of every band” says Jonathan.  Challenge accepted.

The variety of the music is all unified under this common goal of what Jonathan calls “punk ethics”.  The guys aren’t expecting to bank on the fest.  With a ticket price of only $20 for the weekend, 90% of the money goes to the bands and the rest they are crossing their fingers covers their marketing and admin costs.  They’re working with local restaurants to get the musicians fed, and they’ve operated mostly on handshakes when booking the acts.  “We envision this festival as a community effort, and the response has been better than I ever imagined,” says Jonathan.

Mighty Oak is shaping up to be not only a meet-up for the independent music projects of the state, but also a showcase of Jacksonville’s up and coming art and culture community.  Jonathan and Andrew named the fest after their inspiration and appreciation for their hometown. Jonathan says, “Growing up underneath a canopy of oaks, you learn to stop and appreciate your environment. We feel that Mighty Oak is a chance for us to do that and focus on the noteworthy musicians who are making Florida an exciting state for music.”

The Mighty Oak Fest will be held at Rain Dogs (1045 Park St., Jacksonville) and surrounding venues, August 15 and 16.  Tickets and information for the Might Oak Music Festival are available online via www.mightyoakfest.com   |  GET TICKETS   |   RSVP

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