After we shared about the Florida Sunfest of 1977, many readers told us they wished Lakeland would host another music festival — and we couldn’t help but agree. Since we’re not event coordinators, we asked our readers to plan their ideal music festival, from the headliners to the name. No idea was too big or unrealistic; it’s our dream, after all.
First off, what’s this event called? One name stood out to us among the rest: The Beat of Lakeland — thanks to Reader Gilda M. for that magnificent moniker.
Most readers decided that Bonnet Springs Park would be the best location. Other suggestions included the RP Funding Center and Munn Park. Since it’s outdoors, the majority of respondents chose to hold The Beat of Lakeland during the milder seasons of spring or fall.
A music festival is all about, well, the music, and readers opted to hear a little bit of everything, from rock to pop to folk to Latin music. The diversity of Lakelanders’ taste in music really shows when you look at the artists they wrote in to perform.
As local music lovers, we think local acts should open the festival. You said you want to hear performers like the Sofa Kings, Black Satin, Foxhall, and the Harrison School for the Arts Jazz Band.
Finally, it’s the headliners’ turn to take the stage. We’ve got to hand it to you — only one artist, Taylor Swift, was named twice. Each reader chose a different artist to headline, including Bad Bunny, Foo Fighters, Pentatonix, and Zac Brown Band. Talk about an all-star lineup.
Maybe one day Lakeland will host another music festival to rival the Florida Sunfest turnout. In the meantime, check out local artists’ performances at a live music venue near you to catch the real Beat of Lakeland.