Music festivals are a combined opportunity to discover new bands and the soul-gratifying experience of live performances. My musical taste runs a wide range of genres so I’m always interested when a new one lands on my radar, even if at first glance it might not seem like my cup of tea. Spring Reunion Music Festival 2023 at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak doesn’t necessarily focus heavily on my usual style of music, but ended up being an amazing experience on many levels.
Bringing together some of the best bluegrass musicians from all over the country, Spring Reunion is a family-friendly environment that immerses you in a world of music, camping, and community. I took my five year old daughter and we went with a group of other families that included young kids. One of the highlights of the festival for all of us was the camping experience. Suwannee has always ranked high on my list of best places to camp in Florida, and I was excited at the prospect of sharing that experience with my daughter. We were lucky and the weather cooperated, with ideal temperatures and only a very short bout of rain on one day.
We set up camp on Thursday and the festival grounds were alive with people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate their love of music and the outdoors. The camping area was well-organized, with designated areas for tents, RVs, and campers. We happened to be close to one of the washhouse/bathroom facilities so that was a bonus, though they had facilities scattered around the grounds. You could easily tell which campsites were occupied by long-time returning attendees from their decorations. Some more simple and others featuring creative and elaborate setups including lights, sculptures, and things you would never imagine.
A great and unique aspect of this festival was that many of the performers were camping out right in the midst of the festival’s attendees. There would be sporadic “pickin’ parties” where you would witness these world-class musicians warming up or just jamming. All in all, the festival exceeded my expectations, and was an opportunity to create memories I’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Make sure to check out the Spring Reunion website for more history, info on next year’s festival, plus some of the other programming they produce.