Music. The word itself is beautiful—powerful enough to stand alone; dynamic enough to unify. As COVID-19 sauntered into our lives, the Gasparilla Music Festival was one of the last music events Tampanians attended. When COVID-19 gripped daily life, GMF 2020 was cancelled. On Oct. 1, 2021, GMF returns. For the first time, Tampa’s signature music festival will span three days. The unifying power of music, again, takes Tampa’s stage.
Though GMF didn’t take over Curtis Hixon Park in 2020, the Gasparilla Music Foundation continued supporting Hillsborough County’s elementary schools. Music classrooms have felt the pandemic’s financial impact. Through Recycled Tunes, started in 2014 by the Foundation, GMF held drives for gently used instruments for Tampa Title 1 schools. In 2020, Hillsborough County Schools received 595 instruments. The Foundation’s commitment to build a better community through the arts remained centerstage—raising $115,000 for Title 1 schools’ music classrooms.
Recycled Tunes stays on key because of Tampa’s charitable music fans. Since music matters and is integral to harmonious, well-rounded educations, GMF hosts donation opportunities during the festival.
This October, GMF and CAMP Tampa will lead some live and lit cycle classes at Curtis Hixon. Proceeds benefit music education and instruments that are collected will be refurbished and donated.
GMF has provided the 813 with a carefully curated, family-friendly festival. Beyond the panoply of music for all ages, families can enjoy the delightful spread of GMF’s food scene. With Coppertail Brewing as 2021’s title sponsor, plenty of adult beverages will flow to the sounds of GMF’s diverse genres. From indie alternative to R & B and electronic, GMF’s five stages will have the whole family grooving. With the University of Tampa’s minarets and the Hillsborough River as the backdrop, it doesn’t get much better. Or does it?
GMF’s 10th anniversary festival will premier myriad opportunities for festivalgoers to observe and participate in activation art. GMF appeals to all the senses. NAS performs feel good music; simultaneously, festivalgoers activate art by painting their dreams. Street dreams are made of this. Who’s Tampa Bay to disagree? If I ruled the world, I’d have artists perform paintings. GMF will. Imagine that!
Neither the music nor COVID have died. Ticket purchases include a COVID-19 disclaimer. Purchasers should know that GMF will be at capacity and festivalgoers can freely move about Curtis Hixon. Hand sanitizing stations will be present. “Music festivals just aren’t the same when you can’t dance,” Casey shares.
Beautiful music. The powerful sight of Tampa families… not standing alone. The dynamic feeling of a city unified … by the arts. If I ruled the world…make me vision … the better livin’… [Tampa Bay,] the type of place to raise kids in. GMF is back.
Do You Want More!?
- Register for CAMP the Park: charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/camp-the-park-2021
- Ticket info: gasparillamusic.com/tickets-3
- Recycled Tunes: recycledtunesflorida.com
*great need for guitars; violins; ukulele
*Originally published in our September 2021 Issue
*Feature image by Caesar Carbajal