5 Things to Get You to AURA Music & Arts Festival
Now that all the various NYE runs are over, what’s next? The answer to that is simple: AURA Music & Arts Festival. If you didn’t know about it before, now you do– just in time to get yourself a ticket, book a flight and prepare for one of the greatest festivals of the year. For the first time ever, this year’s festival is going to be held at the legendary Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park from February 15-17 in Live Oak, FL. Aura is known not only for having some of the greatest jam and livetronica acts around, but equally for providing an abundance of live art and holistic workshops. Personally, I was just as impressed last year with the live painters as I was with the music. So here goes:
FIVE things you should know about this year’s festival.
1. Break Science and Jeff Bujak have been added as headliners.
As if there weren’t already enough headliners, this electronic duo comprised of Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee have been added to the bill. On top of that, Jeff Bujak will be dominating the early hours of the morning at late night ‘Club Bujak’– an Aura first. Before the New Year, Aura announced a Silent Disco of sorts, and Bujak will be the late night host with the most.
2. RAQ is BAQ. That’s right, you heard it here.
Rock and Roll jamband RAQ will be reunited onstage stage for their first live show since July 2011, ending their hiatus in style at this year’s Aura. Since taking a break, RAQ‘s members have kept busy to say the least. RAQ‘s ‘Key Master General’ Todd Stoops has been playing a grueling tour schedule with funk sensation Kung Fu that never seems to end. Perhaps RAQ’s most well-known member is Chris Michetti, who has also used his time off to relentlessly tour with another band, Conspirator, the brainchild of Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits. With the prospect of future tours for RAQ uncertain, make sure not to miss this rock fusion throw-down.
3. The ‘Vote to Aura’ winners the McLovins need your help!
Each year, some of the hottest up-and-coming acts are picked to compete in the Vote to Aura contest. The winner is given a chance to play at the festival. This year’s winners are the McLovins from Hartford, CT. If you haven’t heard of these guys, they’ve been playing big shows on the jam scene since a very young age–about 15 or 16–with fresh improv rock and classic jams. Only problem is, they don’t quite have all the funding needed to make it down to Florida. Check these guys out if you haven’t already, and if you want to help ’em out, you can do so by donating some money to their Kickstarter Campaign.
4. Jeff Wood’s first stage presence as a live painter.
Jeff Wood has been creating posters for musical artists in the entertainment industry since 1995, working with bands in the punk, jam and southern rock scenes and becoming a legend in the poster art world. Since his visit to Burning Man in 2006, he’s opened up his artistic talents to a whole new world– visual arts. He’s studied with artists such as Maestro Roberto Venosa and Martina Hoffmann as well as Alex Gray and Allyson Grey. This year, during Perpetual Groove‘s set, Wood will live paint on stage and, for the first time ever, fans will get to experience the creative process of this legend first hand.
5. Mike Garfield and the electro-acoustic improv session.
If the first four things I’ve mentioned here weren’t enough to get you moving down to Suwanee, one of my favorite live painters Mike Garfield will be holding an intimate speaking engagement along with several sets of his electro-acoustic touchstyle guitar improv. For those of you who don’t know him, Garfield is a musician, artist and a spiritual practitioner. He’s been featured at festivals like Wakarusa, Burning Man, Rootwire and Sonic Bloom, and has painted alongside artists such seminal artists as Alex Grey and Allyson Grey, Kris D, Mark Henson, Amanda Sage and Mars-1.
Check out a full list of visionary artists who will be featured at this year’s AURA here.