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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 09:00

Top 5 reasons to attend Wanee Festival, April 18-20, 2013

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park Jason Koerner Photography
Written by Amy Burger
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Wanee Festival, hosted each spring by the Allman Brothers Band at the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla. has grown by leaps and bounds over its nine years to become one of the larger music festivals in the country -- expanding from two days originally to three and 30+ bands performing on multiple stages.

In addition to the Allman Brothers Band, the festival boasts some of the biggest acts playing in music today from improvisational rock to blues to soul and funk.

While it may be a haul from St. Louis (826 miles to be exact), here are just a few reasons why it may be worth the trek:

1. On-site Camping: Wanee is more than just a concert - it's an experience. The Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park is a 700-acre resort featuring three miles of beautiful Suwannee River bank side, a swimming pool, on site restaurant, horse back riding stables a canoe livery and more. Weekend tickets include access to the "primitive" camping area, but camping upgrades are available as are RV camping spaces and traditional lodging units, so when you wake up, live music is just steps from your door.

2. Springtime in Florida: While we're still shaking off the last chill, down South on the Suwannee River, temps are balmy and pleasant in the mid 70s-80s during the day (not too hot), and cool and comfortable in the 50s and 60s at night. Perfect for getting your groove on from sun-up to sundown.

3. Allmans, Allmans and more Allmans: If you're a fan of the Allman Brothers Band, you won't want to miss this festival, which boasts not only two nights of ABB headlining shows into the wee hours, but special guests from other acts sitting in and jamming, as well as all of the extended Allman Brothers "family" bands, including Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band and St. Louis' own Devon Allman with his Royal Southern Brotherhood. Throw on top of that two nights of jam-band legends Widespread Panic "opening" for ABB's headlining sets.

4. Tedeschi Trucks Band: Co-led by music's reigning "power couple," Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, this collaboration won a Grammy for Best Blues Album for it's first release, Revelator, last year. The nephew of ABB drummer and founding member Butch Trucks, Derek Trucks is a true prodigy, listed at #16 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Susan is no slouch on the guitar either and her voice sounds like the love child of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. They're a match made in musical heaven.

5. The Mushroom Stage: In addition to the headlining "Peach Stage," many of Wanee's secondary acts perform throughout the day and evening on the more intimate "Mushroom Stage," aptly named and tucked away in the woods like a magical secret. Surrounded by trees, fans can get down while enjoying the shade, and some even string up hammocks up to enjoy the music in a truly "relaxed" fashion.

Hope to see some of you down in Florida this spring!

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