Your Guide To Fool’s Paradise: Daily Schedule, Pre-Party, Artist Excursions, After-Hours
On March 31 and April 1, Fool’s Paradise returns to the historic beach town of St. Augustine, Florida with a juicy blend of full-bodied funk. The two-day festival will once again pack the St. Augustine Amphitheater with rich energies, layered improvisations and all-star collaborations.
The lineup boasts double performances from live funk octet Lettuce, along with sets from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Floozies, The Motet, The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman and Manic Science. Fans can also look forward to surprise sit-ins from multi-instrumentalist Oteil Burbridge, a two-time Grammy winner, and R&B vocalist Antwaun Stanley, a Vulfpeck collaborator.
Extra doses of funk are available at nearby venues, with an official Saturday pre-party and two late-night grooves to be held at the Elk’s Lodge. For those who want to save some cash, local Florida acts will play at Planet Sarbez each night. Last year’s after-hours sold out, so newbie night-owls would be smart to snag their tickets in advance.
Fool’s Paradise fans have a special opportunity to participate in artist excursions to get up-close-and-personal with favored musicians. Attendees can go all out by taking part in theme nights, dressing as mermaids or pirates on Friday or joining the hordes of rainbow funk warriors who will storm the amphitheater on Saturday.
Situated a few steps from the sand, the Fool’s Paradise location makes it easy to participate in coastal activities like snorkeling, jet skiing and parasailing. First-time visitors to St. Augustine can travel back in time to explore the oldest city in the nation, touring 17-century attractions like the famed Fountain of Youth, the fort Castillo de San Marcos or the corridors of Olde Town.
Learn more about Fool’s Paradise to set a plan for 2017’s funkiest April Fool’s celebration.
Friday, March 31
Up-and-coming trio Organ Freeman will kick off the weekend with an instrumental fusion of jazz ballistics. Next up is Manic Science, an eclectic hybrid of electronic acts Manic Focus and Break Science.
As afternoon creeps into night, Lettuce will play the first of two unique weekend sets. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (JRAD) will finish strong with funky Grateful Dead renditions, featuring Dead & Company keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and (potentially) bassist Oteil Burbridge. Burbridge just played three shows with JRAD, which only improves the chances for a memorable collaboration.
Saturday, April 1
The Main Squeeze will fly in after a South Florida show on Friday, playing fan favorites and debuting fresh tracks their forthcoming album ‘Without A Sound.’ The Motet, now fronted by expressive vocalist Lyle Divinsky, will take on the second set of the day with an energetic stage presence.
The Floozies, a constantly exploding blast of comedic, sexual electrofunk, will prime the crowd for the down-and-dirty depth of Lettuce‘s Saturday closing set.
Saturday Pre-Party and Artist Excursions
Festivalgoers can start the party early by getting some face time with their favorite musicians. On Saturday at noon, sailors can hop on the Schooner Freedom Charters for The Shady Horns DJ Set At Sea to ride the waves with Eric Bloom and Ryan Zoidis, the brass masters of Lettuce.
At 1 p.m., fans can hang with Lettuce’s bassist Jesus Coomes, artist-at-large Antwaun Stanley and The Motet’s frontman Lyle Divinsky and play putt-putt at the Fiesta Falls sunken ship-themed golf course. Also at 1 p.m., Lettuce lovers can give back to The Water Collective, a clean water access non-profit, by challenging Adam Deitch and Adam Smirnoff to a game of ping pong.
Another nearby option to pre-game the mid-day festivities is to hit the Saturday pre-party at Elk’s Lodge, which takes place after the ping-pong tournament. Ajeva, The Groove Orient, and Ben Strok & The Full Electric will play from 1 to 4 p.m. After getting fired up, attendees can stroll to the amphitheater for the main event.
Funk fools who intend to keep the groove growing strong can extend the festival experience by making moves on one, or multiple, late-night options.
Elk’s Lodge: On Friday, ratchet jazz act Jaw Gems and Grammy-winner-led Eric Krasno Band will guide the night, moving into an “Infinity Jam” hosted by Krasno and Burbridge. On Saturday, fans will have a chance to catch New Orleans thrash-funk band Dumpstaphunk before the trio takes the stage with Lettuce to collaborate for the “Fools For Funk” jam. Elk’s Lodge is a 5-minute walk from the amphitheater. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the gate.
Planet Sarbez: On Friday, attendees can get a taste of the Florida “Fool Moon” style by heading over to a local St. Augustine hotspot. Ben Strok & The Full Electric will open with a Bill Withers Tribute, and nine-member collective Leisure Chief will follow. On Saturday night, gospel funk machine Ajeva will play before handing off to rockers The Groove Orient. On top of late-night tunes, the venue offers gourmet grilled cheese, arcade games and local art show vibes. Planet Sarbez is a 5-minute Uber from the amphitheater. Cover is $10.
In two weeks, St. Augustine will reverberate with raw creativity. Ditch the half-baked pranks and get down at the funkiest festival on the circuit. More information about festival passes, late-night tickets and artist excursions is available on www.foolsparadisefl.com.