ZenFest is one of the hidden jewels in Florida’s festival schedule, a delightful three-day event in an entirely different dimension called All World Acres just north of Plant City. All World Acres hosts a variety of events during the year, such as Brighid’s Fire, Yulefest, and Beltania, and holistic health and sustainable living weekends. ZenFest is their only music festival.
This is the eighth annual ZenFest, and once again Alley Menedez has curated a tremendous schedule that features a lot of music, yoga sessions, and workshops such as crystal bowls. The music starts Friday night with two very talented ladies and an open mic session that has always been entertaining. Mama Gina, a truly gifted singer-songwriter and tremendous entertainer, is up first, followed by US, a duo with Christina Ungstad and Shawn Ripper. She sings, he plays, and they keep everything fresh.
Gates Open for Guests 3:00 PM
Mama Gina 6:00PM
US 7:00 PM
Open Mic 8-11PM
Dance Party 12:00 AM
Saturday’s music begins singer/songwriters Aaron Field, Christi Massey and Penn Johnson and hip hop artist Introvert. After Coming Home, a fine new hip hop jam band featuring Nook and Bam Forza performs as Golden Era. Then things ramp up further with world/electronic/dance from Daytona Beach’s Intergalactic Vibe Tribe.
Before the drum circle are three bands who have numerous ZenFest appearances and are regulars on the festival circuit. they have toured extensively and are always in demand — and they are returning to All World Acres to celebrate a festival that helped each one achieve greater recognition.
The first of these is Row Jomah, the excellent Clearwater quintet led by vocalist Joe Roma, who also plays acoustic guitar. Their most recent album, Gods, Guns & Gold, received packed-house appreciation in September, and their brand of fusion, funk pop and rock has delighted fans everywhere.
Next up are The Reality, a riotously great funk band — now expanded to a quintet — from Tampa who keep audiences grinning ear to ear as they dance like mad. Their second album Car Trouble is a great snapshot of the madcap antics and excellent musicianship they display on stage.
Finally comes the band that has played every ZenFest: shoeless soul, straight out of Dunedin. Rene Schlegel and crew always present intelligent lyrics wrapped in fine music that they call “prozac pop.” Their shows are uplifting and truly enjoyable.
Yoga 10:00 AM
Crystal Bowl Sound Bath with DruAnn 11:00 AM
Lunch 12:00 PM
Aaron Field 1:00 PM
Christi Massey 2:00 PM
Introvert 3:00 PM
Penn Johnson 5:00 PM
Coming Home 4:00 PM
The Golden Era Band 6:00 PM
Intergalactic Vibe Tribe 7:00 PM
Row Jomah 8:00 PM
The Reality 9:00 PM
Shoeless Soul 10:00 PM
Drum Circle 11:00 PM
Music begins at noon with Al, also know as Thee Eloquent Barbarian. He was a member of Troy Youngblood and the Soulfish, who also played Zenfest a number of years (since disbanded). He sings, plays keyboards and harmonica, a honestly surprises with his magnificent bass voice and incredibly witty songs.
Next up are 8 Eyes, a trio offering blues and rockabilly, followed by another of ZenFest’s best “discoveries,” Tears of a Tyrant. This amazing hard-rocking quartet is fronted by a real blues-rock belter in Danielle Dart; they make their third ZenFest appearance. Finally, the day closes with Serendipity, aka Jenn Leigh, and Americana acoustic duo Heartwood Lane.
Becoming an Ego Warrior with DruAnn – Woskshop 10:00 AM
Clear Intention – Workshop 11:00 AM
Thee Eloquent Barbarian 12:00 PM
8 Eyes 1:00 PM
Tears of a Tyrant 2:00 PM
Serendipity 3:00 PM
Heartwood Lane 4:00 PM
Camping space is limited, so some early if you plan to put up a tent. There is a lot happening next weekend, but we guarantee this is a low-key, out-of-the-way fest that would be worth finding.
Oh, and the cook in the Blue Heron Café is really hot!