AURA Music & Arts Festival begins Friday


The lineups for summer music festivals are slowly being released and anticipation is building as people make plans for their break. But if you can’t wait for summer to come, consider AURA Music and Arts Festival.

This weekend marks the fourth annual AURA Music and Arts Festival. Previously held in South Florida, AURA has relocated and made their new home at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park and Campground in Live Oak, Fla.

“We decided to move to a location that offers the opportunity for us to grow,” Cameron Troy, vice president of AURA Music Group, said. “We outgrew the other location and we wanted to grow the festival somewhere where we can be comfortable for many years.”

AURA encompasses a variety of different genres of music ranging from rock, funk and jazz to reggae, jam and electronic. The lineup includes headliners like Papadosio,ConspiratorPerpetual Groove and Break Science, most of whom will be playing two sets over the course of the weekend.

While AURA was able to snag some big names in the electronic jam band scene, also known as livetronica or jamtronica, it grabbed some lesser-known artists like DrFameus from The Disco Biscuits and Nigel Hall from Lettuce.

AURA will feature a Stevie Wonder tribute performed by Kung Fu and Hall. Troy said that the idea for this came when his business partner had a dream that Kung Fu was playing a rhythm and blues set and upon awakening, he immediately called Todd Stoops, the keyboardist from Kung Fu, and told him about it.

Stoops thought it was a great idea and decided to include Hall in developing an idea for some sort of tribute set that included a genre that the group didn’t usually perform.

However, AURA offers more than just music. This is a true art festival as well.

“It’s not just about the music, but the vibes behind AURA,” Troy said.

This year, they have teamed up with Moksha Family Arts Collective from Miami to provide some visionary artwork. Moksha is a non-profit organization that donates all of their funds towards the support of local artists and community projects.

The Moksha Family has been to numerous music festivals all over the country and world including The Burning Man Project, Bonnaroo, Coachella and Sónar, just to name a few.

Among the 19 artists already scheduled to perform at AURA, famed poster artist Jeff Woods will paint live in front of an audience for the first time ever during one of the Perpetual Groove sets.

“One thing about AURA that, I think, differs from other festivals is the art program and how much we value our live artists,” Troy said. “People go to this festival for the experience and the art is a big part of that.”


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