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Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
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Sunshine Music Festival won’t return to St. Petersburg in 2019

For the last six years, the Sunshine Music Festival has broken up the wintry monotony of mid-January with a star-studded show at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

But for the time being, it's not coming back.

The fest recently announced on social media that the St. Petersburg festival, as well as its sister fest in Boca Raton, would be going on hiatus in 2019. No explanation was given, though it did say blues-rockers Tedeschi Trucks Band, who headline the festival every year, are working on "some special plans for St. Pete/Tampa Bay/Gulf Coast and South Florida fans for next year."

Live Nation launched the festival with Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2013, and every year put together a lineup of "bands that, musically, we can get down with, as well as big enough names to draw people," Susan Tedeschi told the Times in 2015. Over the years, that included acts like Leon Russell, the Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Grace Potter, Robby Krieger, Aimee Mann, Chris Robinson and members of Phish and Widespread Panic.

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Sunshine was the most successful part of a Live Nation push to bring more festivals to the Tampa Bay area. The other two events, Tampa's Funshine/Big Guava and Coastline/Coral Skies festivals, both faded after a couple of years. Sunshine, though, was still going strong this January.

At least Tedeschi Trucks Band fans should have something coming to fill that Sunshine-shaped hole in their hearts in 2019. We'll keep you posted.

— Jay Cridlin

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