Sunset Music Festival 2019 in Tampa, Florida had some major separators from years past on many facets of the entire event. From the production, to the crowd flow and to the vendors, there was an upgrade of execution by the SMF team this time from prior years. Here is a recap and photos of some of the biggest recognized differences!
This year the Sunset Stage was beyond exceptional! There was an incredible display of craftsmanship on the production as the stage was multi-leveled for artists, whether they were spinning from the bottom of the stage center or 20 feet + above the crowd! The digitals were incredible as they layered into the depths of the massive stage. You had to get into the striking distance of the stage to realize it took a small army to assemble the entire production set.
The Eclipse Stage exhibited the most unique and complicated production! Prior years the digital and assembly arches that stretched from the stage out over the crowd had been split into two massive arches. This year it seems the arches were made into one massive arch with about a dozen digital screens for insane visuals and depth! (As seen below) We would have to argue that the Eclipse Stage was competing with the Sunset Stage in crowd attendance at certain sets!
A major factor that might have gone unrecognized by some who didn’t take advantage was the Cool Down stages. They delivered an escape from the heat, as well as brought some bangin’ upcoming artists into the “mini venues” within the festival grounds. I think the continued addition of these stages will keep SMF in a league of its own as many other festivals don’t provide the experience as SMF has over the years.
Since SMF 2018 was cut short with weather delay on Day 2 the SMF Team knew they had to go big with marketing and attendance in 2019 to re-instill the appreciation from festies. Needless to say, SMF 2019 did not disappoint.
From the parking ease, to the free red bulls on your way in (WIN), to the admissions and lost and found it seemed the attendance structures were spot-on. There were minimal wait times to even get onto the festival grounds of the North Lot at Raymond James Stadium this year.
The placement of water stations, wristband top ups, bathrooms, shade oasis’ and drinks were engineered in the best fashion for ultimate enjoyment of attendees.
There were some cool differences this year with the vendors that might have not been noticed in previous years. One of the dopest vendors was the Kia Motors Soul Station. Here you could go through a misting arch, dance on a EDM illuminated stage and go through the “Human Car Wash.” This was set near the Eclipse Stage and was a perfect little side venture when touring the festival grounds on the way to the next set you were trying to catch!
The layout of the ground was fantastically engineered as well as the majority of retail, food, and beverage vendors were ideally placed under the majority of trees on right in the middle of the grounds between the AMF, Eclipse and Sunset stages. There are some parts right in between the tents where you could see all 3 major stages at once! This small location might be something to highlight for SMF team in the future for boomerangs, and social media exploits!
Overall 2019 was the best year that we have attended SMF over the last few years. We were beyond blessed with amazing artists and DJ’s, World-Class production and stage presence, incredible hospitality and crowd control, and of course the most INCREDIBLE VIBES to the music we all love! We look forward to attending next year and many more years to come and hope that all enjoy themselves and stay safe this 2019 Festival Season!