The 2017 Wanee Festival
Spirit of Suwanee State Park, Live Oak, Florida
The Wanee Music Festival is now in its 13th year and shows no signs of slowing down. Held in bucolic Live Oak, Florida, this year there’s three days of exceptional live music on tap. Tickets begin at $229 (plus service fees), and it includes admission to all three days of music, and three nights of primitive camping in the park. Camping upgrades are available through The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park offices, for those who wish to bring their RV or rent a cabin.
If you have opted for accommodations in town, shuttle buses do run regularly. The overall mood tends to be fairly relaxed. This is a friendly crowd. You can ask for most anything, food or a ride, and someone will usually help out. Apply some common sense here. In the town of Live Oak is a Wal Mart, Publix and other stores ready for the onslaught of visitors, who arrived ill prepared or forgot to pack a toothbrush. Located in the camp is a General Store with reasonable prices. I was expecting the same kind of convenience sticker shock that comes with proximity, but no, everything was fair. They sold beer, wine, ice and fishing lures for those so inclined.
But this is a Music festival, right? Included in this years line-up are Bob Weir & the Campfire Band performing on both Friday and Saturday nights, Widespread Panic, Dr. John & the Nite Trippers, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Trey Anastasio Band. There’s a another 18 or so bands. Les Brers, an Allman Brothers Band alumni line-up will perform augmented by Cody and Luther Dickson, will perform in tribute to the late Butch Trucks, who was instrumental in organizing this particular festival from it’s inception.
The Mushroom Stage (the smaller of the two), is a truly phenomenal place to see a band perform. In a natural amphitheater and ringed by oaks, the sound is nothing short of amazing and your proximity to the stage from the front, is arms length. If an act you like is performing there, arrive early for remarkable experience.
The vending in the park can prove to be unique as well. There’s custom made cigar box guitars, hand drums, paintings, and more t shirts than you can shake a stick at. Plus plenty of one of a kind, jam band styled, 420 friendly merchandise. My advice, don’t by the first latch hook tapestry shaped like Jerry Garcia’s head you see. There may be other items of equal quality or interest around the corner. You have three days to think about it.
We should all be aware that even though the State of Florida has adjusted it’s mindset in regard to natural medicines, there still isn’t an official policy on this matter. Local authorities are fairly tolerant, but discretion is advised.
Merry Wanee every-body!