Sarasota has always had a vibrant music scene. And residents like Jeff Hardy can recall a time, before the city-wide noise ordinances of the '90s, when bands played at live music venues into the wee hours of the night.
This month, Hardy plans to bring back that experience with HomeGrown Palooza, a festival dedicated to showcasing local music. From 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on April 20 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, attendees will get to experience a full 12 hours of local rock n' roll bands.
This particular festival has been a pet project for Hardy—one that he's been thinking about for quite a while. "I've always wanted to do this," Hardy says. "And I finally had the means, so I took a gamble."
Twinkle and her band Rock Soul Radio were the first act to commit to the festival. Hardy was also able to book Sound of Fury, Nobody's Fool, Version 3.0, Sounds of Thunder, Alvis Brothers, Undr8ed, Divine AF and Bri Rivera SRQ.
The name HomeGrown Palooza is a reference to the roster of local bands performing, and a funny nod to festivals taking place on 4/20, the unofficial day of celebration for fans of marijuana. "The date was purely by accident," says Hardy. "The festival's not marijuana based at all." He chose to lean in to the date, though, and will have several CBD vendors present. There will also be food trucks, craft beer and other specialty vendors.
"I want to bring our music community together," Hardy says. "It’s gonna be a spectacular thing, and I plan to do this every year.”