Whigfest is Back in 2018 with Umphrey’s McGee
WhigFest is a celebration of freedom through art, music, creativity and expression. The festival name is a quirky play on the 19th century political party, the Whig Party, which was chosen to echo the American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence and opposed tyranny. The word “Whig” was then a widely recognized label of choice for people who identified themselves as Patriots, Rebels, and Revolutionaries.
The 2018 event marks the return of the festival following a two year hiatus after the promoters needed all their time, energy and resources to open Rock Brothers Brewing Company and The Attic Concert Venue in Historic Ybor City.
20+ artists will grace 3 stages across two venues in Ybor City over two days. The main stage and secondary stage will be located opposite each other in the Cuban Club courtyard. A third stage will be located at The Attic Concert Venue nestled atop Rock Brothers Brewing Company one short block away from The Cuban Club and will feature intimate performances with singer songwriters, while the main stage acts will play the Cuban Club stages.
This year, Chicago based jam rockers Umphrey’s McGee are the first headliner to be announced and will perform an extended 3 hour set the second night of WhigFest. Supporting artists already confirmed for the weekend are a collection of Attic Records favorites and friends; Stokeswood, Polyenso, Forrest Hoffar, SWIMM, JT Brown, Mountain Hollar, Kristopher James and many others yet to be released, as well as the Saturday night headliner.
“Earlier this year when Umphrey’s came through Jannus, it was sold out before the gates opened. In addition, Umphrey’s McGee is one of our beer partners at Rock Brothers, so were very excited to share some upcoming news about a new beer release between RBB and UM during the festival as well.” said Kevin Lilly the event co-founder and partner in local St. Petersburg record label Attic Records and Whig Party Presents, the events promoters.
This show is a special one for Umphrey’s as the band and Rock Brothers will launch their new limited release beer at WhigFest, as well as pouring the bands current beer UM’s Nothing Too Fancy Pale Ale through out the fest, a collaboration between Rock Brothers, the band, Cigar City Brewing and Boulder Beer Company.
WhigFest celebrated modest successes with its first three years booking independent artists and relying on the support of their dedicated fan bases to show up. “We made small leaps each year with WhigFest since it’s inception in 2012 making sure that original art was the focus of each festival, we celebrated our first sold out crowd in 2015 with JJ Grey & Mofro, we feel strongly that this year will be a continuation of the growth,” said Tony Casoria, co-founder of the Fest and Attic Records.
Umphrey’s McGee is a crowd favorite on the festival circuit with a massive loyal following. After 19-plus years of performing more than 100 concerts annually, releasing nine studio albums and selling more than 4.2+ million tracks online, Umphrey’s McGee might be forgiven if they chose to rest on their laurels. But then that wouldn’t be consistent with the work ethic demonstrated by the band, which consistently attempts to raise the bar, setting and achieving new goals since forming on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana, in 1997. After releasing their eighth studio album, Similar Skin, the first for their own indie label, Nothing Too Fancy (N2F) Music (distributed by RED), the group continues to push the envelope and test the limits. Their latest studio album, The London Session, was a dream come true for the members having been recorded at the legendary Studio Two at historic Abbey Road. The stealth recording session yielded 10 tracks in a single day, proving once again, the prolific UM waits for no one.
More on the Umphrey McGee Website.
Rock Brother’s Brewing and Umphrey’s McGee Collaborate on Nothing Too Fancy Pale Ale
This isn’t the first time Whigfest Co-Founders Kevin Lilly and Tony Casoria, also partners at Rock Brother’s Brewing have worked with Umphrey’s McGee. The Tampa based brewery developed Nothing Too Fancy Pale Ale a collaboration with Umphrey’s McGee and Cigar City Brewing. Nothing Too Fancy is a sessionable, light-bodied pale ale brewed with pale barley malt and malted wheat for a soft mouthfeel. The unique Equinox hops provide aromas and flavors of fresh tropical fruits with a subtle peppery touch. Just over 5% ABV and 36 IBU, Nothing Too Fancy is your go-to everyday ale that goes down easy but runs deep.
More on the Rock Brothers Brewing Wesbsite.