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SunFest planning to come back in 2021 with new format

Event to have a more inclusive footprint
SunFest 2018 lineup announced
Posted at 4:36 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 16:36:07-05

JUPITER, Fla. — Plans are in the works to bring Florida’s largest music and arts festival back in 2021.

SunFest’s Sales Director Dianna Craven told sponsors in an email on Tuesday they are working on a proposal to bring the festival back, with a decidedly different look and feel in light of the pandemic.

The plan that will be submitted to the city of West Palm Beach calls for an event without gates.

"[There will be] two separate ticketed concert areas (Ford Main Stage and Amphitheater Stage with a defined capacity currently budgeted at 50%) would be created and sold," said Craven.

The two concert venues will be capped at 50% capacity in light of state and local coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

The event's footprint will expand up Clematis and Datura Streets as far west as Rosemary Blvd. In these areas, festival organizers plan to offer free music performances by local performers and attractions like the Art Show and Craft Markplaces.

SunFest 2021 Footprint proposal

"SunFest has always been good at showcasing local bands. So [giving] them smaller venues and being part of the SunFest lineup is just a huge bonus for everybody," Aaron Wormus, 'Guy on Clematis' blogger.

“Expanding Sunfest to incorporate more of the downtown community could be wonderful. The art and cultural aspects throughout downtown West Palm Beach will perfectly align with the efforts our area has been working towards. I’m excited to see how this evolves and how Johan’s Joe can be a part of this new Sunfest,” said Laura Olsson, of Johan’s Joe.

"This concept's main advantage allows for most of the traditional festival elements but places a larger focus on our community," Craven said. "The overall idea is that patrons can 'create their own SunFest' while being with others only to the degree they feel comfortable," said Craven.

"I kinda' feel like [the plan feels like] South by Southwest. Where an entire town kinda' gets involved in an event," Wormus said, "You can go to any place and there is something special happening--there is some event, some happy hour or something unique.

'A Guy on Clematis' talks with WPTV's T.A. Walker about the possibility of SunFest 2021

"A Guy on Clematis" talks about potentially having SunFest in 2021

West Palm Beach leaders will have to approve the SunFest proposal. Meanwhile, organizers say they’ll share more information with WPTV NewsChannel 5 about logistics as they work through the approval process.

SunFest is slated to be held April 29 - May 2, 2021. This would make the 37th festival. It was canceled in 2020 in light of the pandemic.

More from Taste & See South Florida: SunFest reduces staff