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Back to the Island: Mile 0 2024

Key West, Florida is the stuff of legend.  Pirates.  Rum.  Hemingway.  Jerry Jeff.  Buffett.  Duval. And for the past five winters it’s been the stuff of Texas/Red Dirt legends. The exotic and only dreamt about has become a warm, friendly reality.  

I’ve spent the past six years detailing and extolling the magic that happens on this tiny island, so no need to recap it all.  It’s in the archives.  But, here are a few things to be excited about for 2024.

-The continuation of the specialty shows that are closing down the Amp each night.  Jamie Lin Wilson and Courtney Patton return to host a late night shindig. This year they brought a new theme, and a secret weapon.  The theme is Sailin’.  We’ll be yacht rocking in the most appropriate place.  The secret weapon is the most phenomenal singer and performer in the lower 48, Josh Weathers.  Weathers has a side project called DadRock.  He was born to sing anything, but these songs are most definitely in his wheelhouse. In addition, your favorite Topo Chico Cowboys, Josh Grider and Drew Kennedy, return to the tribute close-out stage by following up 90’s country and 80’s country smash nights with a run through all genre 70’s hits this year.  Adam Hood will be leading a big damn jam one night as well.  Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic will meet Bocephus.  Buckle up as the end of the night special shows are always a highlight of the week, each week.

-Some of the Mile 0 rookies are definitely worth making time for.  Chief among them is the aforementioned Josh Weathers.  If you’ve never seen him play before, prepare to be blown away.  If you have, or if you only know the billion viewed Whitney Houston cover, get ready to peel back the layers and be wowed.  The Vandoliers are another act that put on a blistering live show and have been burning stages down across the land for years.  These guys put on a fun show and will be one you’ll be sad you missed if you only hear about it on Facebook.  Tanner Usrey is one of the hottest names out of Texas the past few years.  The kid has a tremendous band behind him with a double guitar attack that is rooted in blues and southern music.  The Usrey boys will have you jamming for sure.  Songwriters don’t get more gritty and real than JD Graham, pop into his show and hear some of the most picturesque lyrics ever committed to paper.  Jonathan Terrell is a good time live and fits into the Moonpie vibe if that is your jam.  Kin Faux are entertainment personified and should provide quite a bit of buzz after their sets.  These bands and more stand to make the same type of impression that Red Clay Strays, Moonpies, 49 Winchester, Grider and Kennedy have in years past. Find someone you’ve never seen before, and dig in.

-The vibe always stays loose, as do the times.  Just loose, good times.  Key West moves at half speed and it’s good to keep with that.  In your travels, your grubbing, your drinking, your music enjoyment.  Just relax and let the island, tunes and vibe wash over you.  There’s no place like it.

-The forecast looks to be another year of chamber of commerce perfect. Years past have brought challenges such as monsoons, cold fronts and extreme heat.  That’s not the forecasted case this year.  It looks to be as perfect as years 1 and 2 in the weather department.

-Don’t pick up the roosters.  Don’t drink and drive even if it’s behind the wheel of a golf cart.  Stumbling and Uber are your friends. Tip your bartenders and wait staff, we have a reputation to uphold as the best music festival fans and guests.

-This is the first year Jimmy has not been alive while the fest is happening.  I like to think he will get with Jerry Jeff and Hemingway to send us the right vibes.

-Make sure the app is downloaded and ready to go, it’s your friend.  Use it.  Make plans.  But, if you fall off, no worries.


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