As if there’s any lack of high-quality live music events in North Florida these days, we have a new, something-special coming to the beautiful Suwannee Music Park, via some of Jacksonville’s hardest working musical movers and shakers. A group of gentlemen from Jax have come together to create a new music and camping festival series, one with a theme and vision that is held dearly by the event’s organizers and fanbase, alike.
Coming in mid-August, the Reunion Campout Concert Series will offer a unique, intimate festival experience, unlike that of many of the bigger events at the Park, and across the region as a whole. The weekend will feature a range of sounds from the electronic and jamband genres. There’s a very limited capacity for the event, which will only serve to bolster the feeling of “reunion” throughout the weekend.
With the sense of community that exists among the thousands of repeat-attendees at Suwannee, the name of the event holds a distinct significance. I sat down with two of Reunion’s founders, Vladimir Kulishevskiy and Trey Hebron, to get their thoughts on what the weekend has in store.
What would you say is the underlying theme of Reunion overall? Surely the name has some significance?
TH: A reunion is simply stated as a gathering of members of a group that have been separated. I like to think there are a large number of people who call the Spirit of Suwannee home, and by and large consider each other members of an exclusive family. Reunion aims to lessen that separation of our family between festivals and provide more opportunities to get together and ultimately, reunite.
What are some unique aspects of the festival that you feel will set it apart from other local music festivals?
VK: To start off, we were and are, a bit reluctant to call Reunion a full-on festival — as we have a limited capacity on this event. And from that the Concert Camp-Out Series idea came about. I feel this makes it a little more homey and intimate. Not like intimacy is hard to find in the Park, but we are making it very affordable to get away and experience a power-packed couple of days of music in the wilderness without much of a fuss.
Reunion is the brainchild of Jacksonville’s most active and passionate music promoters and event coordinators. What do you think this says about Jacksonville’s music scene in its current state, and where the city is going in the near future musically?
TH: We’re definitely headed in the right direction. Right now, Jacksonville as a whole has a cohesive motivation for change that the younger community is embracing and cultivating. Our music scene in Duval is a direct reflection of this energy.
VK: There is a jazziness that is present in town. It has always been here, but now it seems people are taking pride in it. This progress is sometimes hard to see if you aren’t really paying attention and don’t have your ear to the ground. One would assume this would carry over to aiding us in the populating of events at Suwannee. I think they call that synergy, but for us, it is an idealistic goal, which drives us.