Harvest of Hope: Hope floats

2nd Annual 
Harvest of Hope Fest
Friday – Sunday, March 12-14
St. Johns County Fairgrounds,
;St. Augustine

;$49.50 festival pass

When one door closes, another door gets kicked off its hinges. Such is the case when, last year, South Florida's annual outdoor music festival, Langerado, shut down for good thanks to sluggish ticket sales in a slow economy. As the premiere music fest in Florida for years on end, Langerado was the only rock bill in the state to command national acts on the same level as Coachella in California and Bonnaroo in Tennessee, and its passing dealt a serious blow to the legitimacy of the Sunshine State as a viable option for multiple-day, world-class blowouts. 

As if on cue, Gainesville record label No Idea Records came correct last March with its first annual Harvest of Hope Fest, a Farm Aid-like concoction boasting major talent, and lots of it. The idea for the festival was born from the organizers' desire to raise funds for the migrant farm workers of the country, inspired by the Harvest of Hope Foundation and its founder, Phil Kellerman, whose late grandmother was a social worker. 

Last year's fest was an unqualified success, and this year's installment boasts an even larger roster of phenomenal artists both regional (Mumpsy, Gatorface, Virgins, the Pauses) and national (Billy Bragg, the Mountain Goats, Senses Fail, Man Man), precious (Kimya Dawson, James Husband of Of Montreal) and larger-than-life (Anti-Flag, Torche, Kool Keith), middle American (the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band) and black nationalistic (Dead Prez). 

There are even a couple of acts with their own built-in curiosity factor. Early-'80s Canadian metal band Anvil was lost to history until the release of the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil a couple of years ago, which depicted them as a real-life Spinal Tap whose love for performing music had not diminished despite decades of obscurity and working manual-labor jobs to support themselves. Since then, the band has become a genuine phenomenon. 

Additionally, Queens, New York hip-hop duo Black Sheep, whose seminal debut album, 1991's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing must be mentioned among the greatest rap albums of all time, might appear to have reunited considering their name is on the HOH bill, but truthfully, member Dres has been touring on the name sans other half Mista Lawnge. 

The best part of such a massive festival so close to home is that a ton of these acts are also stopping by Orlando on their way in or out, which makes for a jam-packed week of great local shows. For a full docket, consult The Week in this issue, or online at www.orlandoweekly.com. In the meantime, we would like to point your attention to a few noteworthy Orlando shows tied in with the Harvest of Hope. 

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