Five days of music, fun, art and friendly entertainment by the waterfront in West Palm Beach have come to an end. This past Sunday, May 3rd was the grand finale for SunFest 2015, the biggest event in the city. Kaskade, one of the festival’s main headliners said this about SunFest on Friday: “Besides being a good time, I just love the name of this festival. That’s what I’m all about: sunshine, outdoors, good music“.
Though we will be rating the festival in another article, this is SunFest 2015 Recap, the festival where music meets the waterfront featuring 50 bands that performed at three stages spread along the gorgeous Flagler Drive in Downtown West Palm Beach.
Wednesday evening was the event’s kick off with terrific performances by Wilco and Lenny Kravitz. It kind of got the regular SunFest’s daily-attendee-crowd going despite concerns about the weather. This year marks the 33rd anniversary of SunFest and Lenny Kravitz was a great pick to headline the opening day. In case you don’t know, SunFest started as a Jazz Festival 33 years ago and the legendary American singer and songwriter from Manhattan, New York, closed New Orleans Jazz Fest 2015 on Sunday, the biggest Jazz festival of its kind in the country. He laid a good rocking performance in our SunFest stage on Wednesday, being the prototypical rock star: charismatic, in charge, and stylish in a fashionably ripped T-shirt and distressed jeans.
The second day, Thursday April 30 was a very interesting day. A regular SunFest goer said it seemed like a battle-of-the-ages day at SunFet with Paramore in one stage and Sammy Hagar and the Circle on the other end, both setting solid performances to revelers who distinctively of their ages loved to show up that night dressed like their favorite band’s members. Good night for rock and punk music, unforgettable 80’s hits and vibrant songs about today’s optimistic feelings. It was a perfect combination for a lineup.
As more people started flowing down the streets of Downtown WPB towards SunFest from the second day on, inevitably Friday night seemed like everyone was thinking #TGIF. It kind of marked that the best of SunFest was yet to be seen and critically, in turns of music performance, it takes the grand prize for SunFest 2015.
Friday night was for Electronic Music. Just going around the audience, it was amazing to stumble upon many visitors from other states following Kaskade who for an hour and a half dazzled West Palm Beach Waterfront with laser shows, imaginary landscapes on wide screens, fire and neon lights. It was a night packed with entertainment that hosted a very enthusiastic crowd that raved and jumped to hard-dropped beats. Being at an Electronic Dance Music concert reflects the trends of the millenial generation where people like viewing life through the prism of an iPhone screen. And SunFest thought about it first, partnering with AT&T to have phone-charging stations and guarantee revelers will not miss a minute to take selfies or share SunFest memories.
— yo gabba gabba (@garetis10) May 2, 2015
Saturday was SunFest’s largest line-up this year. Being the longest hours of the festival, from noon to 11 p.m.; would 40 bucks pay to catch up with a list of over 18 performers, spend time with local radio personalities (97.9 KVJ Morning Show and WILD 95.5 Elvin Duran among them), non-stop live DJ playing along three floating barges on the Waterfront and a Kids’ zone featuring kid-size fun, activities and entertainment including face painting, bounce houses, plays in the sand. Impossible to beat!
Eddie Money performed on the Tire Kingdom Stage at SunFest and put on a great show reviving the new wave music of the 1970s and ’80s he was so good at. Stone Temple Pilots teamed with Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington who has pretty much saved the band, recapturing the Pilots’ glory days. Hozier, the Irish musician and singer-songwriter from Bray surely encountered a very large crowd by the Waterfront singing “Take me to Church” louder than him. SunFest West Palm Beach was the first time Hozier headlined a festival and he humbly appreciated it to the packed cheerful audience at the Ford stage.
Sunday was the grand finale of a full-blown 5-day span of music, art and entertainment by the Waterfront with revelers who would not really want to let the weekend go without tasting it all at the festival and in fact, a lot happened that day to please every one who attended. Captain Morgan floating barges were packed and featured dance music, games, Captain Morgan drinks, and of course the Intracoastal Waterway view. No other festival can hold the candle to the setting of SunFest along West Palm Beach waterfront and Captain Morgan floating Oasis was the perfect traditional party scene for fans 21 over during SunFest. In one of the piers there even was a pirate ship allowing a special ingenuously-devised theme of a Caribbean soiree in our modern-times festival.
And the music selection for the Grand Finale seemed OK to most attendees who showed up in seas of people to every stage. But either the Meyer Amphitheater hosting the Tire Kingdom stage was small or Boston drew the largest crowd during SunFest 2015. When Boston took on the stage by 6:45 PM they were welcomed by a boisterous yay that echoed strong through the buildings nearby to match the band’s fast-paced rock entrance. The headliner to close SunFest 2015 was Fall Out Boy who is enjoying renewed success thanks to their latest album, American Beauty/American Psycho. In deed, as a result of the current pop landscape, it is hard to keep up as a rock band. Fall Out Boy is one of the few bands that has been able to buck friends and stay winning.
The jarring sound of a nearby yacht signaled Sunfest goers it was time for the fireworks that would wave good-bye to the 2015 festival. For almost 20 minutes the skies along the Waterfront seemed to be painted with bright colorful lights exploding to the awe of the gathering crowd.
And so came the final day of SunFest, West Palm Beach most important annual event that this year presented over 50 performers, offered an outstanding variety of food to please all tastes and gathered together local merchants with outstanding merchandise and amusement ideas. Talking about food, there are three winners this year:
1- Shake Shack Burgers – delicious cheeseburgers which are taking the world by storm served with buns a little toasted in the inside with the freshest ground beef possible to make each juicy burger really tastes as beef. By all accounts, the about-half-an-inch thick Shake Shack burgers with dark brown caramelized sides were a hit to anyone who passed by their kiosk.
2- Tropical Cafe was serving Pineapple with Chicken and Shrimp mixed with yellow Pilaf rice and coconut. A delicious treat that screamed summer all along, specially cut out for the occasion of SunFest. A grilled pineapple is something to die for and this combination of the pineapple with spicy shrimps stirred in coconut and rice was the energy needed to keep on dancing all day long.
3- Lemonades – There were plenty of stands all over the SunFest location. Sometime there were two kiosks standing one next to the other. The hot weather in Florida calls for lots of refreshing cold drinks whenever we are outdoors and it was good to see not only beers, liquor and sodas, but plenty of lemonades being served.
Room for one last SunFest 2015 recap comment? It’s hard to please everyone and things can always be better, but overall, SunFest 2015 was a terrific festival from beginning to end.
West Palm Beach SunFest 2015 Recap. Review of Florida’s Largest Music Festival by the Waterfront, Featuring Music, Fun & Friendly Entertainment to Thousands