SATURDAY: Summer Jam 10

Published on August 10th, 2014

Summer Jam 10

Summer Jam PureHoneyWhen Ybor City hosted its first Summer Jam music festival, in 2005, it was supposed to be a one-time event—a showcase of great eclectic indie bands, especially from the Sunshine State. But, as founder Joe DíAcunto recalls, “the first year was a success and sort of connected the music community in Ybor City during a time that connectivity was needed. So we did it a second year and then expanded it to two venues the third year, and then it just kept going. We joked about only doing it for 10 years, not ever expecting to be successful for that long.”

Indeed, it’s become a signature annual event in the historic Tampa Bay neighborhood, expanding its reach of venues and number of bands throughout the years. And if you’ve never driven up for it, now’s the time: The festival’s 10th annual edition, which will rock the New World Brewery and the Crowbar on August 30, is the final Summer Jam.

“In recent years, ‘festivals’ have become the norm, which has made it increasingly difficult to even do a regional festival with a couple of national acts,” D’Acunto says. “So we decided to stick to our guns and have one final blowout. And damn, a decade’s long enough!”

Well, we’ll just have to help make this one the best Summer Jam yet. Athens-based quirk-poppers Reptar will headline the show, along with the lyrical folk rockers Roadkill Ghost Choir, aka the best thing to come out of DeLand since Buckminster Fuller. Representing South Florida will be the girl-group revivalists Beach Day, the moody shoegazers Sweet Bronco and the electro-chill of Millionyoung. Other must-see acts include the halcyon dream-pop of Bradenton’s Sunbears! and the Dylanesque troubadours Have Gun Will Travel, from Jacksonville.

If this turns out to be the best Summer Jam yet, it will have stiff competition. D’Acunto’s favorite memories are of Summer Jam 6, which he called “completely nuts! There were so many little wrinkles to the event: over 20 bands, an art opening, an Olympic-sized pool in the middle of a parking lot, a fixed gear race, free barbecue, beer tastings, six deejays … it just went on and on. We had finally really taken over all of Ybor City. Kids were getting jobs at the pool, bikes were whizzing through the streets, each venue was packed with smiles from ear to ear.”

That was more information than requested, perhaps, but I can’t conjure a better endorsement than that. Summer Jam 10 runs from 2pm to 2am August 30 in Ybor City. Tickets cost $20-$25.

~John Thomason

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