Sunday, April 20, 2008

Farm to Family Music Festival

As most know, the Family and I drove out to Alachua yesterday to attend the Farm to Family music festival. The farmers have been having this festival for three years but I had never heard of it until my mom's favorite band, The String Kings, notified her that they'd be playing there. I'm so glad they did because we had a blast and it was something I probably wouldn't have heard of otherwise.

This woman worked the ticket booth and was super nice. She got quite a workout twirling and lifting her arms heavenward. It takes me three glasses of wine to be this free spirited

There was about half a dozen or so vendors selling snacks, baked goods, organic dishes, handmade clothes, and various other odds and ends. But there was no pressure or obligation to buy anything. We brought our own cooler and snacks, but my son still helped the vendors rake in a hefty profit by using the festival as a reason to eat non stop for the better part of six hours. He's a growing boy I guess.

Boy Eating

The musical acts were varied but all equally awesome. I've mentioned The String Kings before but never in great detail. They have a huge list of songs they play (see their website for full list). It's mostly classic rock but they throw in a lot of songs by more recent artists as well, like Jack Johnson. Vocally these guys are superb and the music is flawless. Plus they always look like they are having the best time. I can't say enough nice things about them. (And no my mom didn't pay me to say that.)

The String Kings (I have to apologize for not getting all the
band members in the picture. All photos were
taken from the spot I kept warm on the grass.)

Another standout for me was Heather Mullins, who I believe is only sixteen. She accompanied performer Gary Noland for a while and then sang some songs on her own. This is certainly not a slam against all the great male musicians, but I have always been partial to a strong, female singing voice and this gal has one. She sang songs by Jewel and KT Tunstall, two artists I'm not overly fond of. But her voice was so pure and beautiful that I ended up loving her versions of the songs.

My dancing hippie girl

Our whole family really had a wonderful time. The atmosphere at the festival was so relaxed and positive that it was difficult to do anything but have a good time. I found myself doing things I don't normally do, like chatting with strangers or letting my kids run around without me following six inches behind them. I definitely do plan on going back, and I highly recommend anyone here locally to please check it out. The tickets were $10 for adults, kids get in free and it is well worth the price. Plus, you know that the money is going to a great cause---helping farmers and supporting local or unsigned musical acts. What could be a more worthy cause?

The girl and her new friend.


Stickler said...

Hello Tammy, I was sent your post by a friend - so glad you came out to Farm to Family and enjoyed yourself.

Like you I am very fond of the venue; one my 4 year old daughter can run wild and free with out me worrying about her breaking something, and she loves meeting new friends and just playing and running around.

And secondly my other daughter is Heather Mullins, and I appreciate so much your kind words, I'm very glad you enjoyed her performance and I will share this with her also. (Gary, is my husband)

By the way, I video tape the performers at Farm to Family, and with Don's great sound files, there should be some very nice videos of the String Kings up on Youtube. You are right they are a geat band. I too, throughly enjoyed them!

Looking forward to maybe seeing you next month.

Tammie said...

I definitely do plan on coming back to the festival---it was so much fun.And I will check out the Youutube site:)