Sing out loud Festival
Sing Out Loud festival organizers expect this year’s event to be the biggest yet with 334 bands lined up to perform at about a dozen different venues throughout St. Augustine.
“You can see the bands really getting excited to participate in the festival this year,” said festival spokeswoman Dianya Markovits.
In addition to the nationally known performers and local bands, the festival will shine the spotlight on local poets and comedians. In all, it will feature about 500 artists.
Florida’s largest free live entertainment festival attracts about 25,000 spectators each year, but Markovits says this year’s lineup could bring in even more.
The festival will take place over four weekends from Sept. 6 through 29. Featured performers range in genre from indie rock, Americana, blues and hip-hop to bluegrass, punk rock, jazz and comedy.
Nearly all the shows are free to attend, something that some music lovers found difficult to believe in the show’s first two years. But that has changed as the event has gained notoriety.
“The community is really getting behind it,” Markovits said. She called it one of the coolest events she’d ever heard of.
Only the Sept. 21 show at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre featuring country music star Kacey Musgraves has an entrance charge.
Musgraves, who has won several Grammys — including four for her critically acclaimed “Golden Hour” album — is a major draw for this year’s festival. She is also the subject of an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville that runs through June 2020.
The Musgraves show is sold out, but no tickets are needed to see the other top names scheduled to perform at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s Backyard Stage. The participation of community partners has made it possible for these shows to be presented free of charge.
In many cases, local and regional bands will have an opportunity to open these shows.
WHO’S ON STAGE?
• Lo-fi guitar hero Kurt Vile and The Violators with guest Reels will perform at 7:45 p.m. Sept. 7.
• Indie pop songstress Jenny Lewis with special guests the Watson Twins and Lucie Silvas will perform at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8.
• Punk rockers Propagandhi with guests The Coathangers, Debt Neglector and GILT will perform at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13.
• Hot Water Music and guests the Menzingers, Subhumans and Kid You Not will perform at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14.
• Retro soul group St. Paul & The Broken Bones with guests Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Aaron Lee Tasjan will perform at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15.
• Hip hop icon GZA with guests DJ 3 Clops I and Friends, L.O.V.E. Culture and Willie Evans Jr. will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 20.
• Beach goth musicians the Growlers and indie rocker Phosphorescent will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22.
• Americana troubadours Shovels & Rope with guest Lilly Hiatt will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 27.
• Son Volt with guest Early James & The Latest will perform at 7 p.m., Sept. 29.
This is the fourth year for the annual festival. Over the course of its first three years, it has attracted an estimated 75,000 music fans and featured more than 900 performing artists.
It has also raised more than $100,000 for charitable organizations, such as the Betty Griffin House of St. Johns County, United Way and OneOrlando Fund. This year, the Musgraves concert will benefit two community outreach programs. HorsePlay Therapy Center near St. Augustine uses horses as a means to help children who need physical, occupational or speech therapy. Green Hands Initiative is an effort by the Amphitheatre and the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall to reduce unnecessary waste and minimize adverse impacts on natural resources.
The festival benefits the local tourism industry, as well. It is marketed to the Miami, Tampa and Orlando areas.
The festival is facilitated by the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division.
For further information, including a complete event schedule and a list of featured performers, go to singoutloudfestival.com or like SingOutLoudSJC on Facebook.