Festival Season Kicks off at Suwannee Music Park

The AURA Music Festival hosted in between 3,000-5,000 guests over March 3-5 in Live Oak, Florida. Purple Hat Productions and Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park presented over 50 live acts on three stages.

History was made once again at the 7th Annual AURA Music Festival with two bands, The Disco Biscuits and Thievery Corporation, celebrating 20 years performing together as groups in 2016.

Some say there is something in the water that makes The Suwannee Music Park such a magical place. That might be true, but it’s the people that undoubtedly make the experience special! 

Aura had an array of different attractions that peaked the senses this year from Music, and Art, to Yoga. The sunny-warm days and cool-crisp nights made for the perfect festival weather.

Thursday, March 3

Thursday started the fest off with some of the best-known native bands; such as Lucky Costello, who always guarantee a great show in their own stomping grounds.

Asheville based band; The Fritz, delivered another funk-alicous set, as they’re building quite the reputation at the campgrounds.

Friday, March 4

A true sense of connection could be found at Aura this year. With the help of Joaquin De Teresa of Boom Yoga, there were nearly fifty different yoga classes, workshops, and gatherings scheduled. He played a big role in bringing together this diverse selection of events.

It’s no surprise that the party escalated quickly on Friday evening with the Mike Dillon Band.  The festival was not without some difficult choices, to see Particle or Nunchuck that was the question… The New Deal released their first studio album in over a decade, Mercury Switch, on the Friday they played at Aura. The 9-piece Brooklyn based band Turkuaz raised the funk bar very high at the Porch Stage on Friday night.

ALO at AURA Music Festival 2016

Southern California rockers, Animal Liberation Orchestra returned to the sacred grounds of the Suwannee Music Park. ALO performed a collection of the best tunes for the AURA audience. They invited up Carly Meyers and Adam Gertner from the band ROAR during their Friday set.

“Good evening everyone, we’re glad you’re here. Thanks for coming. – Zach Gill (ALO)

Stream the band’s live performance via Butch Almberg with Mixcloud.

ALO Setlist – 03/04/16

Blew Out the Walls
Walls of Jericho
Falling Dominos
Plastic Bubble
Cowboys & Chorus girls (with Carly Meyers & Adam Gertner from ROAR)
I Love Music

Thievery Corporation at #AURAFest

The famous Thievery Corporation played an insane set at the Amphitheater Stage. Thievery Corporation is truly a spectacle not to be missed!

Thievery Corporation Setlist 

Sound the alarm, Take my soul, Blasting thru, Here Krishna, Radio retaliation, COF, Liberation Front, Illumination, Depth of my soul, 33 degrees, La femme, Amerimacka, Fire on the Mountain*, Holographic U, Vampires, Unified tribe, Warning shots, Forgotten people, Sweet tides, Lebanese blonde, Richest man in babylon

Thanks to our friends at CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS for documenting this sick Grateful Dead cover of “Fire On The Mountain”. Check out more videos from Aura at https://www.youtube.com/user/chzhdprd


The 2-time Grammy Award winning Snarky Puppy took the stage around 8 P.M. on Saturday night. This power funky-jazz brigade is always welcomed well, especially at Suwannee. The Snarky Family had an electric mixture of songs from their newly recorded album, along with the Snarky favorites. Another big thanks to Butch Almberg for the giving us all the pleasure of hearing this amazing Snarky set again.

Saturday, March 5

Music Festivals have the tendency to manifest into life-long friendships and everlasting feelings. A place where old friends and new ones can come together over music, art, and experiences like no other; just as the artists can perform rare and sought after collaborations. Aura was truly a festival for the records with all of the different artist and band collaborations and projects. The very talented Natalie Cressman & Jennifer Hartswick spent more time playing music than not at Aura. The New York renegades were hopping stage to stage. Also, Mike Dillon really showed out playing with a number of different bands. The Aura Musical & Arts Festival was truly a family affair across all the stages. Crescent Vale would like to especially thank all of the artists and Brotherly Love Productions for this wonderful festival. Check out the many festivals to come at The Suwannee Music Park.

The Disco Biscuits, or Bisco you might call them had the honor of playing the Aura finale the Amphitheater Stage.  What better to open the set playing “Scarlet Begonias” into “I know you Rider” (by The Grateful Dead) accompanied by Todd Hamilton. They really brought the heat at Aura. 

The Heavy Pets Revive the Soul of the ’80s

The festival was full of great music and covers, but nothing quite like The Heavy Pets Tribute To The 80’s with Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman!

An absolute parade of talent marched to the beat of the 80’s on Saturday evening! Big thanks to Butch Almberg for the rare audio recordings.

More sets to be heard from Aura and other shows at https://www.mixcloud.com/butch-almberg/

The Heavy Pets Tribute To The 80’s with Jennifer Hartswick & Natalie Cressman

The Heavy Pets – Tribute To The 80’s:
Electric Avenue > 1999.
Let’s Dance.
Synchronicity II > Take On Me.
Steppin Out > Touch Of Grey.
Another One Bites The Dust*,
Call Me Al > Rock The Casbah**> In Your Eyes > Everybody Wants to Rule The World.
I’m Coming Out > Holiday > Give It to Me.
Blinded Me With Science > I Ran So Far Away***.
This Is The Place.
It’s The End Of The World.
Band: Jeff Lloyd, Mike Garulli, Jim Wuest, Jamie Newitt, Tony D’Amato
with special guests Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, Alison Paige Hilley, Robert Smiley, Daniel “Quinto” Naval & John Provenzano.
*w/ Mike Mineo & Ben Smiley. **w/ Mike Dillon. ***w/ Daryl Wolff.