Sing Out Loud Festival is the largest FREE music festival in the state of Florida.
You read that right – FREE MUSIC FESTIVAL. The city of St. Augustine hosts this month-long music fest during the four weekends in September. This year they are celebrating the third anniversary of the festival and it is the biggest to date! From September 1-23, there will be over 270 musical artists at over 15 venues around the city.
Director of Cultural Events for St. John’s County and the man behind the festival, Ryan Murphy, came up with the idea about five years ago when the city hosted something similar. He thought, how cool would it be to set up stages all over town and have local bands play? Well, with a little bit of time and a lot of effort, his “baby” was born!
Ryan was originally scared that the word “free” wouldn’t bring in fans because of fear of crowding. So he found a better way to bring in fans AND guarantee them seating. He achieved this by inviting popular artists, selecting a charity and having the fans donate money for a guaranteed seat to the show!
Each year the charity is different. The inaugural year, the proceeds went to the Pulse victims’ families. The following year, it went to both Lincolnville Museum for renovations and United Way for those affected by the hurricane.
This year, all proceeds will go to the Betty Griffin Center for Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. The center has promised to match donations up to $100,000. So far, the festival has raised over $90,000 towards their goal.
The Main Showcase at St. Augustine Amphitheater will be on September 22. It will feature Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, The Decemberists and Lucero. Even though it is sold out, please do not let that stop you from taking a weekend getaway to the nation’s oldest city to see some great local talent!
“From a kid with his computer mixing beats to an old guy and his guitar, there will be something for everybody!” Ryan exclaimed. His favorite part of the festival is that everybody leaves seeing a new band and going to a new venue that they normally wouldn’t have gone to.
I mean, with over 270 musical artists from all over Florida and beyond, it would be a challenge not to see a new musical group.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out SingOutLoudFestival.com to see the full lineup, venues and more details. Sing Out Loud cares about you so much that they even created an app where you can scroll through the different bands and add them to your schedule!
Their website even lists different places for you to stay; they truly have thought of everything.
Please do yourself the favor of attending because this is one event you do not want to miss. Explore the website SingOutLoudFestival.com, download the app and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @SingOutLoudFestival.
As always, support local music and stay #TunedIn
P.S. IT’S A MONTH-LONG FREE MUSIC FEST! Do it. Go. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
By Marisa Sullivan