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Bear Creek Music Festival: Weekend of Ecstasy

Learn about upcoming local event, Bear Creek Music Festival, from soon-to-attend reporter Kait Alkass. 

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What is it?
A five-day music festival.

Dates: Nov. 13 – Nov. 17


  • Wednesday 4 PM – 1:30 AM
  • Thursday 2 PM – 2:30 AM
  • Friday 12 PM – 3 AM
  • Saturday 12 PM – 3:15 AM
  • Sunday 11:30 AM – 8:45 PM

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL between I-75 and I-10


  • FULL WEEKEND: $185 if bought online
  • FULL WEEKEND: $195 at gate
  • THURSDAY: $60
  • FRIDAY: $80
  • SATURDAY: $80
  • SUNDAY: $50

[button color=”orange” link=”” target=”_blank”]Buy tickets online now.[/button]

More Coverage: Read Jonny Scoblionko’s interview with Ghost Owls.


[tab id=2]Schedule

See full schedule with times here.




Your correspondents owe the reader a confession: they have not attended a music festival since Warped Tour when they were 15, dressed in a tie and plaid skirt. Finish off the look with some poorly applied NYC eyeliner and a pair of black Converse and you get the entire image of your correspondents’ misguided execution of a “grunge” phase. Your correspondents have never tried to write about music but are certainly along for the ride and are willing to give their damndest. So there, we’ve warned you.

Your correspondents now sit on their unmade bed, textbooks and clothes strewn across what one must presume is the floor, munching on some stale Rice Chex and washing it down with a Diet Coke that was miraculously hiding behind all the Slim-Fast shakes in their mini-fridge. They will lose those ten pounds. But today is not that day. Today is the day that your correspondents wish to beguile you with the talk of what is surely the hallmark event of every alternative, progressive rock-endorsing, hippie-dippie, indie, Mary Jane-loving individual: Bear Creek Music Festival.

Located in the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, Bear Creek Music Festival is quickly becoming one of the staple music festivals of the southeast, especially after the extinction of the Langerado festival. The festival includes four action-packed, funkalicious nights from talented artists such as Bonobo, The New Mastersounds, Pimps of Joytime and The Revivalists. Your correspondents are particularly excited to see performances by The Jennifer Hartswick Band and Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes.

Jennifer Hartwick’s performances are known as contagiously lighthearted. Talented in both vocals and trumpet, her performances are played with both finesse and heart. Influenced by the sounds of the greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson, she attended the Hartt School of Music in Hartford. She now performs regularly in jazz, gospel and rock ensembles nationwide.

Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes are a New Orleans-based band that delivers a variety of musical genres with every performance including rock riffs, Gypsy/Klezmer notes, and Latin flavors. Your correspondents are intrigued by the band’s alter egos, adding a mystical quality to the music as well as a dash of humor. The alter-egos are as follows: Johnny Sketch (Marc Paradis) on guitar, electric cello, and lead vocals; Busta Gnutt (Dave Pomerleau) on bass and backing vocals; Dirty Johnny (Andre Bohren) on drums and backing vocals; Johnny Rico (Omar Ramirez) on trumpet and flugelhorn and Johnny Walker (Brad Walker) on the saxophone. The goal of JSDN is simple: for the audience to have fun. Your correspondents approve of this initiative.

As if the incredible line-up of bands such as Galactic, Lettuce, and The Roots for four straight days on four separate active stages wasn’t enough, your correspondents have been informed that there is a strong costume component to Bear Creek Music Festival. Friday’s theme has been dubbed “Warm and Fuzzy: Get Your Inner Animal On.” Your correspondents were thrilled to learn of this, as there is nothing that delights them more than the possibility of bobbing heads in unison with a fully grown man dressed as a tiger. Saturday night’s theme is based on cult classic film Space is the Place starring Sun Ra and has therefore been named “Space is the Place. Sun Ra Afro Power Freek Dance Royal Funk Theme.”

Your correspondents will most definitely be donning ancient Egyptian headgear for this night of debauchery. This night encourages “Bear Creekers”, a loving term for those in attendance, to “get weird.” Your correspondents have accepted this challenge.

Last but not least, Sunday night’s theme features “The Color Purple.” Purple represents Bear Creek’s favorite city—New Orleans and their favorite Purple Hatter Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, whose life is celebrated at the Purple Hatters Ball.

Your correspondents also plan to harness their inner chi and complete several sundog salutations whilst in attendance. A registered yoga instructor will be providing classes at all levels in the meadow on Saturday and Sunday morning. Your correspondents chant to you, “namaste.”

But where will we sleep? Fear not, dear readers. All weekend tickets for Bear Creek Music and Art Festival include basic camping on a first come, first served basis. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park has over 700 acres of shaded camping areas and also offers hundreds of upgrades for RVs including power and water supply.

A festival survival tip from your correspondents to you: pack warm clothes. Whether you reside in a cabin, RV, or tent this weekend, the temperatures will drop to the lower 30s once the sun goes down. While the inevitable dancing that will ensue due to the super funky music playing at every turn will ensure that your blood keeps pumping, your correspondents find layers are best. If all else fails, build a good old-fashioned campfire, invest in a cuddle buddy, and sway to the crooning of Bootsy Collins and Dumpstaphunk. Your correspondents believe it is what the founding fathers would have wanted.

Your correspondents look forward to reporting back to you with a full review of Bear Creek Music Festival as well as exclusive interviews with phenonmenal musicians. Until then, your correspondents bid you adieu.


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