By Nikki Hedrick
Every event has its own personality—its own vibe—and Okaloosa RevFest, staged at KC’s Sandbar in Downtown Fort Walton Beach April 7, is distinctive for how it encourages collaboration between musicians. The event feels like a community celebration more so than a giant music festival where everyone is anonymous. It’s akin to an immense barbecue where you’re able to hang out with all your friends, listen to music and enjoy adult beverages.
One thing that makes RevFest special is how the event encourages all-ages attendance and participation.
Musical highlights this year included The Good Little Chickens, a group of high schoolers and recent high school grads from the Tallahassee area. Definitely a surprise of the event with their blues-inspired original tunes.
And how can I not highlight The Fritz? We interviewed them prior to the event, and the North Carolina based little-bit-everything band brought a wonderful funky goodness to the stage. I’m pretty sure dang near everyone was moving during their set.
There’s more to RevFest than just music. The vendors included artisans, Armored Amps, and Matt Moore’s (the bassist for Heritage) newest artistic endeavor Diptek, which offered “body marbling.” It was a lively addition to the day—watching people get their various tiger stripes was a fun experience, especially when someone was bold enough to get something less conventional than their arms dipped. (Talking to you, Face Dip Guy.)
None of this would exist without the hard work of Michael Flatau and his team, the venue staff, and the numerous bands and volunteers that kept the whole day moving.
RevFest carried on in spite of gloomy clouds and some early rain. Once the sprinkles cleared up (around 2 p.m.), the rain never returned. As the night turned cool, KC’s was well-prepared with fire pits and a few scattered heaters if dancing wasn’t keeping folks warm enough.
The event definitely makes for a long day, with the opening jam starting at noon and the music ending close to 2 in the morning. But the smiling familiar faces mixed in with new-to-me musicians ready to blow minds always makes it worth it.
Congratulations to RevFest for a fantastic sixth year.
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