Sunfest Times Five

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The main stage for Sunfest, still under construction at the time (Saturday, April 23, 2016)

For most of the twenty-odd years I’ve been going to Sunfest, I usually get a five-day pass. But in 2012 I was able to get press passes for the first time, for three of the days, thanks to the efforts of my press partner Empress K of Reggae Reflections. Empress K was able to do so again last year, getting us press passes for four of the days, and we covered the festival on behalf of Island Stage magazine out of Dallas. And now for 2016, Empress Khas gotten us press passes for all five days, so we’re literally in the last phase of the calm before the storm.

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Sunfest main gate being constructed behind the Clematis fountain

Ever since Sunfest was transformed in the ’90s from a jazz/blues festival into more of a pop/rock affair, the approach was always to try to have something for everyone, but never more so than this year. The 2016 offering ranges from ’80s acts (Duran Duran, Rick Springfield) to current pop charters (Meghan Trainor,  Andy Grammer, Capitol Cities); alt-rockers (Death Cab For Cutie, Fitz and the Tantrums) ; reggae and r&b newcomers (Jesse Royal, Lunch-money Lewis); hip-hop veterans (Salt ‘n’ Pepa) ; hipster favourites (Alabama Shakes, The Roots) and, as always, a couple of repeat performers (O.A.R, a last-minute replacement for the injury-sidelined ZZ Top, Slightly Stoopid and Train). Did I leave anybody out? Probably; there are 50 bands on the bill…

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The soon-to-be food court and the Tire Kingdom stage (AKA the Meyer Amphitheater)

So keep watching this space for concert reviews and pictures from the photo pits. And if you go to Sunfest and happen to see the Type Writer collapsed from exhaustion in between stages, please pick him up, dust him off, and point him in the right direction…

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