I have no idea how many years it’s been since I went to SunFest. I have this dim recollection of the last time I went that involved dropping my sunglasses in the port-o-let and, later on, being nearly trampled to death by a million rude Motown fans trying to get a glimpse of the Four Tops. Was it 2000? Maybe.
But somewhere along the way I realized it wasn’t fun anymore. Too crowded. Too hot. Too far to walk from one stage to another. Bad food. I am sure I have racked up 1,000 reasons not to go and were it not for my old friend Lisa Ocker visiting from Texas, I might still have those memories.
However, this year we went. Keep in mind we had just driven all the way to Titusville to see the launch, which was scrubbed, and then back again. And that was on the same day we had already gotten up at zero dark 30 to watch the royal wedding. It was a long day, to say the least.
That’s why deciding to hit Sun Fest the next day to catch Ziggy Marley seemed like a walk in the park. And it was. And better—it was so much fun. I am quite sure in the intervening years (and multiple traumas) that have defined my life since 2000 I had somewhere along the way just decided I was too old for nonsense like Sun Fest. I had faced the truth yet again this year that I knew nothing about Toad the Wet Sprockett or MGMT or Sick Puppies or the Funky Seeds. That is, until I started thinking about Ziggy Marley and his great late father, Bob Marley, who is practically the sound track of my life.
We decided to give it a whirl and I am here to say it was one of the best Saturdays in recent memory. We drank cold beers, bought official SunFest beads, ate gyros. We went shopping among all the arts vendors, and upgraded our tickets so we got seats in the third row of Ziggy’s concert.
And there we were, sitting 20 feet from The Man with the dazzling smile, the extravagant dreads, the Jamaican accent. The music started, a stiff breeze blew off the Intracoastal and the world was exactly as it should be.
“Love is my religion,” he sang, and everyone was dancing. “It’s a beautiful day.”
And it was. Sign me up for next year.