In the quaint downtown of West Palm Beach, where the streets are embellished by a variety of shops and restaurants, a vibrant music and arts festival comes to life every year in the first week of May. The five-day affair brings people together from all over the state to share their passion for food, art, and most importantly, music. And this year, the festival was bigger than ever.
SunFest drew artists from across all genres, attracting a rather diverse crowd. Not only did the festival outdo itself by encompassing all music-tastes, but it also became a hub for local talents seeking to share their music with a new audience.
Fetty Wap, Snoop Dogg, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Weezer, and Flo Rida were among the many big name artists that SunFest hosted this past weekend. Alongside these nationally acclaimed artists, local acts such as Sunghosts and Magic City Hippies also took to the stages in an attempt to charm the audiences.
The last two days of SunFest were especially exciting as the schedule of alternating genres resulted in a rather unique but familiar crowd.
Saturday had a Coachella-esque vibe as the younger generation sported the latest festival fashion trends alongside country-folk music lovers who attended with their families to enjoy an afternoon of soulful ballads. Adding even more interesting people into the mix, the day’s lineup included Rocket to Anywhere, a local West Palm Beach indie band, Rebel and the Basketcase, a spunky musical duo created by none other than Evan Rachel Wood (think Westworld!), and Filter, an industrial rock band whose metallic sound resonates with those who have jammed out to the lead man’s original band, Nine Inch Nails.
One of the last performances of the night, 3 Doors Down, had the crowd singing the lyrics to “Let me go” and “It’s not my time”, songs that are considered by fans anthems from the late 90’s/early 00’s. At around the same time, Marshmello took to the stage and illuminated the crowd in a veil of flashing lights and electronic dance music, including his most popular song “Alone.”
On Sunday, the lineup included X Ambassadors, The Naked and Famous, Kaleo, and Emily Kopp. Whilst listening to the music, one could also stroll through the Art District where the mood changed from festive to expressive as colorful murals decorated the streets where merchants sought to enrich your life with new art decor, jewelry, and antique trinkets.
The highlight of the night, however, was Blink-182’s performance. While all other days were peppered with crowds of all ages, this was clearly a call to arms for the punk rock nation. Twenty-something year olds of all colors and creeds pooled in front of the stage, counting down for the exact moment the infamous neon orange drum kit would spearhead from the stage. Collectively, they screamed and moshed as one. Directed by the wacky haired lead singer, more voices could be heard off-stage than on.
After a colorful fireworks show, the festival ended, leaving attendees craving for more. SunFest sure did not disappoint.
Photos and article by Edysmar Diaz-Cruz