FROM THE PIT TO THE CROWD: BRIGHTSIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL – CENTRAL FLORIDA FAIRGROUNDS – ORLANDO FL – APRIL 27, 2024

Sublime - Photo by Keysie Raffucci

Brightside Music Festival: A Day of Music, Craft Beer, and Sublime Vibes 

by Keysiee Raffucci

On April 27, 2024, music enthusiasts made it to Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida, for a day filled with electrifying performances at the Brightside Music Festival. The festival’s inaugural event was produced by Brew Ha Ha Productions, who is the most respected and prominent craft beer and music festival producers. Brew Ha Ha Productions is well known for its events Punk in the Park and Punk in Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival. The Brightside Music Festival was presented by Orlando’s premier rock station 101.1 WJRR.

In addition to the musical lineup, the festival offered a nice selection of craft beer, hard seltzer, and cider for attendees to enjoy. The $10 add-on craft beer sampling experience perfectly complements the vibrant atmosphere, allowing festival-goers to savor the best local brews while soaking in the sounds of live music. As soon as the gates opened, attendees were treated to a local craft beer tasting session, featuring a lineup of local breweries including SUN LAB, Prison Pals, Windermere Brewing, Motoworks, and more. This early afternoon indulgence set the perfect tone for what was to come.

My partner Keith and I tried some fantastic brews, and here are our thoughts:

  • Sun Lab’s berry sour was a real treat! It had a fruity kick and was super refreshing. It’s perfect for folks who aren’t big on beer.
  • Prison Pals Brewing’s amber lager was alright.
  • Windermere Brewing’s rice lager was a winner! It was crisp and clean, with hardly any bitterness.
  • Motorworks Brewing’s V-Twin was solid. It had that classic lager taste with just a hint of bitterness.
  • Dunedin Brewery’s Air was light and easy to drink. It is great for kicking back and enjoying the tunes.
  • Rockpit Brewing’s Reef Rash – It was strong and had a fruity sweetness that hit the spot.

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The lineup kicked off with the energetic sounds of Done For, followed by the fun Miami-based band ¡FUAKATA! Each band brought its unique flair to the stage, setting the pace for the day ahead. As the sun started to set, the crowd reached a fever pitch with performances from established favorites like Zebrahead, Unwritten Law, and Save Ferris.

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Face to Face and Story of the Year brought the energy halfway through the Brightside Music Festival, hitting the stage right after Save Ferris. Face to Face pumped up the crowd with their infectious punk-rock sound, while Story of the Year delivered a dynamic performance, showcasing their signature blend of emo and pop-punk. Their electrifying sets kept the audience on their feet and added to the festival’s vibrant atmosphere.

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Towards the end fof the day, attendees were treated to the eclectic musical styles in performances by Goldfinger and 311. As night fell upon the fairgrounds, the infectious rhythms and energy of these legendary bands kept the crowd dancing well into the night.

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One of the standout moments of the festival was the eagerly anticipated reunion of headliners Sublime, marking their first official festival appearance. With original members Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson joined by Jakob Nowell, son of the late Bradley Nowell, Sublime’s performance was a nostalgic journey through their genre-defining hits. The crowd swayed and sang along as timeless classics filled the air, reaffirming Sublime’s enduring cultural influence.

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With its diverse lineup, lively atmosphere, and unbeatable combination of music and craft beer, the Brightside Music Festival proved to be a must-attend event for music enthusiasts and beer aficionados alike.

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