Every year around February, Palm Beachers frantically begin checking social media sources hoping to be the first to uncover the artist lineup for the most cherished music festival in the area. Sunfest, which started up over two decades ago, is touted as the largest music and arts festival on the waterfront in South Florida.
For five days in late April and early May, hoards of concert-goers head to the end of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach to hear their favorite musicians, sample great local fare and hang out on the Captain Morgan party barges.
Sunfest's lineup is usually released after all the other major U.S. festivals, so fans are always making bold predictions about just who exactly will end up in West Palm right up until the unveiling.
Rabid concert-goers are ready for the next act at Sunfest — Photo courtesy of Sunfest
For this year's event – held Wednesday, April 29, through Sunday, May 3, 2015 – musical acts include 311, Lenny Kravitz, Wilco, Boston, Paramore, Pixies, Fall Out Boy and Hozier, among others.
The daily schedule is posted on SunFest's website, where you can actually build your personal schedule in advance of the event. Because of the length of SunFest, the chances of artists you want to see performing at the same time is relatively low.
Procuring tickets for the event is easy. And like most other things, the earlier you book, the better price you can obtain. Five day passes are currently selling for $60 per person. Individual days will cost you upwards of $30 closer to the festival, so make your plans now.
Besides general admission passes, look into "stand" passes if you like to be closer to the action. VIP experiences are also available, which include backstage passes, drink tickets and buffet access.
Besides the music, an arts and crafts show takes place over the weekend, which includes over 150 local vendors and artisans. You can pick up some great South Florida-themed paintings and prints here.
For the athletes out there, Sunfest hosts a 5k on Friday, May 1. Race tickets include show admission, chip timing and the obligatory finish line beer.
The best part about Sunfest is the setting. All the action takes places along Flagler, directly adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. When you need a break from the head banging rock 'n' roll, you can head over to one of the party barges (literally floating out in the water) to grab a drink, socialize and experiment with your new dance moves.
The entry point to the festival is at the end of Clematis Street, home to some of the city's best restaurants and bars. Most joints have food and drink specials specifically timed around SunFest, so be sure to check them out before you pop into the show.