A bright and beautiful Saturday found us wandering to Deland, Florida, where the 5th annual Delandapalooza Original Music and Art Festival was in full swing. Honestly, I had never heard of “Delandapalooza” before, but it seemed a worthwhile adventure, so off we went.
The event was presented by the Songwriters Showcase of America (www.ssa.cc) with several sponsors on board.The event flyer boasted of over 100 bands on 28 stages throughout the neighborhoods straddling both sides of Woodland Boulevard, with arts and crafts and food vendors filling in the gaps. I was curious how exactly that was going to work, since it is more annoying than difficult to listen to more than one band at once, but the separation was surprisingly good, and as we walked the streets it was easy and enjoyable enough to stop at whatever stage we were in the vicinity of and dig of the band playing thereon…and there were plenty!
The “arts and crafts” contingent was disappointingly sparse. I’ve been to many art festivals and so I was expecting a little more of a showing than the few that were there, but that expectation was largely my own fault. This is foremost a Music festival, and anything else is actually secondary. Still, those vendors that were there had some very cool work and interesting products. We found a bar-b-que vendor that had possibly the best bar-b-que I’ve ever tasted, and we found some awesome homemade ice cream at one of the local shops along Woodland Blvd.
The shops themselves made up for the lack of specialty vendors, and we had a lot of fun snooping through the eclectic antique and curio stores. The shops only comprised a short portion of Woodland, so it didn’t take long to visit those that interested us (professional offices are absolutely no fun at all to visit…) and over the course of a few hours we had seen everything there was to see. That may sound like a lot, but most of that time was spent walking, not snooping.
The bands were very diverse, everything from Thrash Metal to Christian Hip Hop to laid back Singer Songwriters; definitely something for everyone. I guess my expectation was more along the lines of something like the Suwannee Springfest, so I was not fully satisfied with the music offering at Delandapalooza; however, I do listen to a very diverse range of music and the bands that were performing were very good in their own right. I just found it a little jarring to go from thrash metal to a solo harmonica player belting out Johnny Cash tunes. Being only about 3:30 in the afternoon, we opted for the Johnny Cash harmonica player and speculated how cool the thrash metal band would sound about 11:00 that night. We only had time for the afternoon visit so it would have to remain a mystery – though I bet they did quite well.
All in all, we had a great time. The food was excellent, and the shops were a lot of fun to look through. It did not live up to what I had built it up to be in my mind, but still, I would totally recommend a visit when next year’s Delandapalooza comes around. Just enjoy the shops, and find the stage that is catering to your kind of music and a good time will be had!
Till I Wander Again…