Ella is in for it this weekend... My daughter doesn't know it yet, but I'm dragging her and her mom to one of my favorite events of the year.
WMNF's Tropical Heatwave is our community radio station's big fundraiser/concert/block party in Ybor City. This is something that is well covered by the official media with lists of bands not to miss and all that.
Some of the things that they don't talk about in all of the news coverage is the unpredictable and outlandish fun that is inherent to this show. The volunteers at WMNF are really dedicated folks who pour their hearts into this event with decorations and details to handle for months in advance. The funny thing is that all of that love and good spirit flows over to the crowd and for the most part, this will be one of the nicest blend of crowds all year. Parents with kids stand shoulder to shoulder with old hippies and young rockers in a real testament to the way this music overlaps and influences each genre.
Also, don't forget the food! Vegetarian options are usually well represented at WMNF shows. I remember crouching down on the sidewalk last year and sopping up tibs from the Queen of Sheba restaurant with some of their world class injera bread.
For me, I want to see lots of bands, but also, I realize that you don't want to spend the whole show just juggling for position and running up and down stairs at the Cuban Club. My plan (which will definitely fall apart by Saturday) consists of catching a few bands I want to see and not running around too much because I'll be wearing a backpack with our little Ella in it and she'll be wearing the adorable pink ear protection seen above.
My Heatwave plans basically consist of deciding where I want to be and who I really don't want to miss. My personal preference is to stay near the Cuban Club and not slog too far afield.
Here's my plan so far:
(catch the first part of this set, I hear they are amazing)
After that it is useless to plan. We might be worn out by then, or we might go on to see something at a far flung venue. I have never made it to the end of the night at Heatwave and that always means I miss someone I would love to see. This year with my new daughter I don' t expect to make it much past 9:00. That's okay though, the music is contagious and I know that these are the experiences that will shape her mind and tastes whether she remembers it or not.
With such a great selection of bands and the friendliest concert goers in town, I wouldn't have her first real concert be anywhere else... See ya Saturday!!!
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