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SunFest Brings the Tunes

South Florida’s largest music festival has been kicking around for 31 years now, transforming the otherwise tranquil Flagler Drive into the most rollicking parities every spring. And time in, time out, one of the most impressive things about the festival is its dedication to bringing in a stellar musical lineup year after year. With three stages spread out across the downtown waterfront, there is definitely a band or two for whatever your musical inkling may be.


The festival gates open May 1-5. Here’s a look at this year’s must-see acts. (And don’t forget closing night’s fireworks display, one of the best shows each year).


The Smashing Pumpkins—A staple of the grunge era, The Smashing Pumpkins’ albums Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness were some serious tunes back in the day. Now a little long in the tooth, the band is getting back together and kick-starting the SunFest party May 1 from 8:30-10 p.m. on the Ford Stage.

The Smashing Pumpkins - SunFest

The Offspring—For those filled with angst in the '90s, The Offspring was there to put those emotions to lyrics layered with a quick three- and four-chord punk riff. The band has come a long way since its humble California garage band beginnings, with eight albums under the belt and an international following. The group puts on one heck of a show—definitely worth the price of admission—and will be capping Friday’s festivities on the Ford Stage from 9:45-11 p.m.

The Offspring - SunFest 2013

Train—This multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band became a household name with the song “Drops from Jupiter (Tell Me)” in 2001. Since then, Train has gone on to release three additional albums, the latest of which, Save Me San Francisco, has brought the band full circle, tapping into that soulful rock sound that made fans believers. Train will take the Ford Stage on May 2 at 8:45 p.m.

Train - SunFest 2013

Jimmy Cliff—A reggae legend, Jimmy Cliff has too many accolades to name. Some of his biggest hits are “Many Rivers to Cross,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and “The Harder They Come.” Jimmy Cliff will grace the Tire Kingdom Stage on May 5 at 3 p.m., and you'll want to be there.

Jimmy Cliff - reggae superstar - SunFest 2013

Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake—Remember when ska swept the nation in the late '90s? They were simpler times, and SunFest goers have a chance to reminisce about those trumpet and trombone-backed trackswith two of the more prominent names from that era, Less Than Jake (a Florida band through and through) and Reel Big Fish. These two upbeat bands will play back-to-back starting at 3 p.m. on the FPL Stage on May 5.

Reel Big Fish - SunFest Less Than Jake - SunFest 2013 - Ska

  • Ticket prices have hit full price: $37 for one day, $54 for a two-day pass and $69 for the five-day pass. To purchase, visit


SunFest 2013 schedule:


Wednesday, May 1

Ford Stage:

  • 5:15 p.m. Shatterglass
  • 7 p.m. AAN
  • 8:30 p.m. The Smashing Pumpkins


Tire Kingdom Stage:

  • 6 p.m. Roadkill Ghost Choir
  • 7:30 p.m. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros


Thursday, May 2

Ford Stage:

  • 5:30 p.m. Raggy Monster
  • 7 p.m. The Curve
  • 8:45 p.m. Train


Tire Kingdom Stage:

  • 5:15 p.m. The Crazy Carls
  • 6:45 p.m. Breeze Davinco
  • 8:15 p.m. Big Sean


Friday, May 3

Ford Stage:

  • 6:30 p.m. Dharmata
  • 8 p.m. Yellowcard
  • 9:45 p.m. The Offspring


Tire Kingdom Stage

  • 5:15 p.m. Community Property
  • 7 p.m. Gary Clark, Jr.
  • 8:30 p.m. The Black Crowes


FPL Stage:

  • 6 p.m. SJ
  • 7:30 p.m. Chris McCarty and The Underground Movement
  • 9 p.m. Ed Sheeran


Saturday, May 4

Ford Stage:

  • 12:30 p.m. The Duppies
  • 2 p.m. Tribal Seeds
  • 3:45 p.m. Slightly Stoopid
  • 6 p.m. Life in Color featuring Morgan Page and David Solano


Tire Kingdom Stage

  • 1:45 p.m. Molly Hatchet
  • 3:45 p.m. Dickey Betts and Great Southern
  • 5:45 p.m. Shootout Winner
  • 7:30 p.m. Jonnie Morgan Band
  • 9 p.m. Cheap Trick


FPL Stage:

  • 1 p.m. The Chevin
  • 3 p.m. The Airborne Toxic Event
  • 5 p.m. Stiletto Red
  • 6:30 p.m. Rich Caccaro
  • 8 p.m. The Lone Bellow
  • 9:30 p.m. Phillip Phillips


Sunday, May 5

Ford Stage:

  • 1 p.m. Making Faces
  • 2:30 p.m. Barenaked Ladies
  • 4:30 p.m. Shifta
  • 6 p.m. Mac Miller
  • 7:45 p.m. Kendrick Lamar


Tire Kingdom Stage

  • 12 p.m. Future Prezidents
  • 1:30 p.m. Jahguar
  • 3 p.m. Jimmy Cliff
  • 5:30 p.m. Kaleigh Baker and the Nem
  • 7 p.m. Boz Scaggs


FPL Stage:

  • 1 p.m. UNRB
  • 3 p.m. Less Than Jake
  • 4:30 p.m. Reel Big Fish
  • 6 p.m. Set the Score
  • 7:30 p.m. Gavin DeGraw


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February 2015