Harborites, are you ready for your town to be “turned upside down”?!
The third annual Safety Harbor Songfest is set to rock the city on Saturday and Sunday, and organizers have scheduled an impressive lineup of performers to play at the Waterfront Park over the weekend.
In addition to the big announcement that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robin Zander would be performing on the main stage on Saturday, Songfest founders Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda also managed to corral some of the top singer/songwriting talents playing today, including Otis Taylor, Shawn Mullins, Love and Theft, Daphne Willis and The Vespers.
“It does seem a lot bigger this year, mainly because we’ve got a lot of bands as opposed to solo artists this time,” Ramquist told Safety Harbor Connect. “And many of the groups are made up of couples and siblings. So there’s a lot more people involved this year.”
“Plus we’ve been doing a ton of promotion, even some of the artists have been doing promos on TV and radio, so there’s a lot more hype surrounding the event than the previous years.”
See the full 2016 Safety Harbor Songfest lineup here.
One reason for all the hype has to do with the inclusion of Zander in the lineup.
It was recently announced that the longtime Safety Harbor resident would be inducted, along with the rest of his seminal rock band, Cheap Trick, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland the week after Songfest. So to get him to perform in his adopted hometown for the first time was quite a coup.
With that in mind, Ramquist said they have some special surprises in store for the “I Want You to Want Me” singer.
“We made a cake for him, and also a special poster that we’re going to present to him after his set,” Ramquist said, noting Zander and his son, Robin, Jr., would be taking the stage from 5:45-7:00 p.m. on Saturday. “It should be a lot of fun.”
In addition to the gifts for Zander, Ramquist said they have some special surprises in store for the residents and visitors of Safety Harbor, too.
“We’re going to have a couple of pop-up events at local bars, where a bunch of the artists from Songfest will take the stage and jam together,” he said.
To purchase tickets for the 2016 Safety Harbor Songfest, click here.
“And we’ll be doing after-party shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night that people can find out about by downloading the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center app.”
With the artists starting to trickle into town this week, Ramquist said the preparations for the weekend have gone in to hyperdrive.
He said he visited the Waterfront Park on Wednesday, and he was relieved to see the work on the park was almost finished.
“It looked way more promising than it did on Monday,” he said. “And I was told the dredging is finished at the marina, so I think we will be fine by the weekend.”
But as busy as he and Kiaralinda have been preparing for the show, they aren’t too busy to recognize the hard work their group of volunteers has put in over the past year to bring this event together.
“We’re going to have a party for our volunteers and sponsors at Sideshow on Thursday night, just to show them we appreciate everything they’ve done to help pull this off,” Ramquist said.
“There’s no way we could do this without each and every one of them, so the party will serve as a ‘thank you’ to them. Plus it’s as a nice event to kick off what should be a great weekend of music in Safety Harbor.”
If you go:
- What: 2016 Safety Harbor Songfest
- When: Saturday, Apr. 2, 10:00 a.m – 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, Apr. 3, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Where: Safety Harbor Waterfront Park, 1001 Veterans Memorial Ln., Safety Harbor
- Details: More than two-dozen singers, songwriters and bands will take over Safety Harbor this weekend, with two full days of music taking place on two stages at the city’s Waterfront Park. In addition to the lineup, which includes Robin Zander, Love and Theft, Shawn Mullins and the Vespers, the event will feature food and beer, artists, special performances and more.
- Cost: Tickets are $45 in advance and can be purchased online, $50 at the door
- Info: www.safetyharborsongfest.com; download the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center app