Psychedelic Jam Bands Head to Florida

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For the fifth consecutive year Florida hosts the Aura Music Festival. Attractions range from alternative bands to Chakra Meditation and camping.

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When most people think about music festivals, northern Florida isn’t the first place that comes to mind.  Each year, fans and musicians

alike plan their calendar around which festivals will deliver the biggest acts, the most enthusiastic crowds, and lasting memories.  Perhaps you want to head north for Electric Forest Festival in the backwoods of Michigan. Or if you’re feeling really wild, you might book a ticket to the desert and experience your first Burning Man.  But not too many casual festivalgoers tend to think of Florida as a premier destination for camping festivals like those mentioned above.

This year, that conventional wisdom is being challenged by Aura Music Festival which is entering its fifth year in the small town of Live Oak, Florida.  On February 14, hundreds of Floridians will converge on the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in hopes of spreading some good old-fashioned peace, love, and special brownies.  Aura’s lineup of musical artists will be headlined by psychedelic jam bands such as Papadosio and Lotus.  Operating out of the hippie oasis of Asheville, NC, Papadosio has been performing at Aura since its inception in 2010.  Other repeat artists include up and coming acts like Zoogma and Conspirator.

But the music won’t be the only thing drawing young people to Aura.  The festival will also continue its tradition of promoting the visual arts and a diverse array of Yoga workshops.  Many visual artists attending Aura will be painting live on stage with the bands.  As melodies and harmonies fill each stage with ethereal soundscapes, painters such as Andrew Wagner and Emily Kell will create pieces from scratch for the audience’s enjoyment.  And if you begin to feel sensory overload creeping in, you can take a break to participate in a relaxing yoga workshop.  Nine yoga instructors will be on the festival grounds conducting a wide variety of workshops including Chakra Meditation, Kirtan Yoga, and Ecstatic Dance.  And if these elements of Aura haven’t quite convinced you to purchase a ticket yet, perhaps you’ll be inspired by Aura’s philanthropic efforts.  In addition to a comprehensive recycling program intended to promote environmental awareness, the festival will also include a canned food drive.

It’s important not to forget that Florida is home to one of the most popular electronic music festivals in Ultra Music Festival. However, Ultra doesn’t quite fit into the same category as Aura.  If you’re looking for a more traditional introduction to the festy culture, camping and the great outdoors are essential elements of the experience.  While it may not draw as many big name bands as festivals like Bonnaroo or Coachella, fans will enjoy a much more reasonable ticket price.  A three-day pass including camping can be purchased in advance for only $155 on auramusicfestival.com.  All in all, college students from around the Southeast are going to have a Valentine’s Day weekend they won’t soon forget if they find themselves at Aura Music Festival.

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