Funky Fests: 3 Outdoor Music Festivals

By: Carita Parks, The Hester Group

Outdoor music festivals capture the essence of variety in Florida.

When it comes to outdoor music festivals, Florida has it all - you can’t go wrong. Whether it’s a girlfriend getaway or a family vacation, festivals across the state are a treat for any age group. If you’re looking to combine the sounds of music with fun, sun and pristine beaches, Florida is the destination for you.

These are just a few of the many exciting outdoor music festivals that call Florida home.

1. Seabreeze Jazz Festival

Northwest Florida hosts the ultimate weekend of music with the Seabreeze Jazz Festival inPanama City Beach. Named "Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA" by JazzIZ Magazine and recently nominated as "Best Jazz Festival" at the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival attracts over 25,000 fans to Florida from across the world. The Seabreeze Jazz Festival is unique in its lineup of current top smooth jazz stars - all with recent or current Top 10 contemporary jazz hits on national radio. The Seabreeze Jazz Festival lineup has included Grammy Award winner George Benson along with Boney James, Eric Darius, Norman Brown, Brian Culbertson, Nicholas Cole, Cindy Bradley, Jones and Company, and Richard Elliott.

Panama City

2. Funk Fest

Just a short drive from Panama City is Jacksonville, where the annual Funk Fest takes place. Funk Fest is designed to expose and entertain a diverse audience with a variety of old-school music. The event has grown from a small old-school music festival to a large celebration of human expression. Artists that have performed at Funk Fest include Earth, Wind and Fire, MC Hammer, Faith Evans, Frankly Beverly and Maze, Musiq Soulchild and Guy.


3. Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival

A vast contrast to jazz and old school is the Miami Goombay Festival in Coconut Grove. At one time one of the largest black heritage festivals in the U.S., the Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival turns Coconut Grove’s Grand Avenue into Miami’s answer to Nassau’s Bay Street. With two stages, the Goombay Festival offers visitors plenty of opportunity to enjoy Caribbean style entertainment. The festival also offers arts, crafts and food provided by more than 150 vendors. The Goombay Festival is a reminder of the Bahamian immigrants who first settled in Coconut Grove in the 1890s, making it Miami’s first (and oldest) black community.


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