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This is the weekend of Tortuga Music Festival, a big, loud nationally known event that will bring some of the top-selling stars of any genre of music to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park Friday-Sunday. It was an especially quick sellout this time, with fans energized by a strong lineup (headliners: Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett) and by the festival’s return as a spring season event for the first time since 2019 (last year’s festival was held in November).
New for Tortuga 2022 is the decision by Live Nation to not sell the single-day tickets that allowed the cash-strapped, the time-challenged and the indecisive a way to get their country-music fix. A great majority of single-day ticket buyers were local folks, and the decision to deny them makes Tortuga feel more remote and exclusive.
To paraphrase the late, great Waylon Jennings, I’m not sure Hank would have done it this way.
But the quality of life in South Florida, especially in Broward and Palm Beach counties, is still defined by smaller and quieter events created for and by locals such as Chris Gaidry and Amanda Weiner. After hitting pause two years ago, the duo will bring back their popular street party Food in Motion to Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village on Friday. The weekend also will include their arty Dania After Dark festival in Dania Beach on Saturday night.
Read on for details on these events and other local-local things to do:
Drinking around: The Carousel Club has opened at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach, bringing family-friendly (dogs, too) open-air dining and gathering around the antique carousel (also a bar) by day, then adult lounging and cocktailing to DJs by night. The creation of Breakwater Hospitality Group (they run the Wharf in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, among other venues), this is technically grand-opening weekend at the Carousel Club with RSVP parties hosted by glammy publications Haute Living (Friday), Ocean Drive (Saturday) and Venice (Sunday). Visit CarouselClub.com.
Flagler picnic: Produced by Atlantic Studios (Gaidry and Weiner), the long-running community picnic known as Food in Motion will set up again 6-11 p.m. Friday in and around Peter Feldman Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village for the first time since the pandemic took hold. The monthly second-Friday event will host more than 10 food trucks on Northeast Sixth Street at Northeast Third Avenue, with other food stands, art and shopping pop-ups nearby. The park will be open for picnicking and dog play, and there’s a playground for kids. Visit Facebook.com/FlaglerFoodInMotion.
Quiz time: What South Florida icon is 60 years old and as energetic as ever? The Delray Affair, which makes its pandemic-paused return to Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach Friday-Sunday with a Flower Power theme. (CliffsNotes version: The beer garden is on Old School Square.) Admission is free. Visit DelrayAffair.com. … Another acceptable answer would be Jon Bon Jovi, the Palm Beach philanthropist and rock star who is touring again with his eponymous band for the album “2020” and stopping on April 16 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise. Tickets start at $54.75 at Ticketmaster.com.
Good blues: Soulful Chicago-raised, Fort Lauderdale-based blues-rock guitarist Joel DaSilva will perform 9 p.m.-midnight Friday at the beautiful indoor-outdoor music and dining den Lagniappe House in Miami. Admission is free. This is highly recommended. Visit LagniappeHouse.com.
Future funk: New York’s esteemed Blue Note Jazz Festival this week announced pop-up performances at the North Beach Bandshell on Miami Beach in June featuring funk icon George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (June 3), Latin Grammy Award-winning vocalist Buika (June 4) and two nights with influential pianist and producer Robert Glasper and special guests (June 10-11). Get tickets, starting at $55, at NorthBeachBandshell.com.
Ticket window: Exactly what these interesting times require is the return of one of the most interesting bands to come out of the hardcore punk scene of the 1980s, the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra and friends just announced a tour stop on Sunday, June 19, at Revolution Live in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $32 in advance at JoinTheRevolution.net. … Rapper-pop star Post Malone will perform May 6 at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, with tickets (starting at $105) on sale 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com.
Beers and music: Tarpon River Brewing felt like something of a trailblazer when it opened south of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale four years ago, and that sense of adventure will be celebrated during the Take Me to the River Music Festival 2-11 p.m. Saturday. There will be local beers from all over, including LauderAle, 26 Degree Brewing, Orchestrated Minds, Invasive Species, Gulf Stream, Pompano Beach Brewing and a 10% ABV collaboration between 3 Sons Brewing and Tripping Animals called Tripping Acres. Its strong lineup of local music will include the Heavy Pets, the Phish tribute Colors in the Void, the Honest Liars and the Copper Tones, plus teen rockers Social Illusion. It’s free. Visit Facebook.com/tarponriverbrewing.
Dania Beach night: The April edition of the family-friendly street festival Dania After Dark returns 5-10 p.m. Saturday to its space next to Dania Beach City Hall, with a live music from Jah Steve and the Counteract Crew, food trucks, artists at work, 50 pop-up shops, lawn games, and craft activities for kids. Admission is free, with free parking in the City Hall parking garage. Visit DaniaAfterDark.com.
Rock of ages: Revered rock bar the Button South will never be forgotten if its loyal tribe of fans have anything to say about it. And they do. The club will be remembered at Galuppi’s in Pompano Beach 7:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday during the Button South Class Reunion: The Encore. The show will include performances by groups who played the room, including Gypsy Queen, Canaveral and Motor, plus an all-star jam with other favorite Button South musicians. Tickets cost $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Reservations are $150 for tables seating up to six. Visit Galuppis.com.
Get plugged in: If you are looking to boycott oil from inhospitable places (not just Texas and Oklahoma), consider the electric-vehicle festival called Electric Jamboree 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach. The festival features electric cars, including the new BMW I4 and several demo models from other carmakers, a custom EV contest, electric motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts, entertainment and food trucks. Admission is free. Visit ElectricJamboree.com.
The Weekender – South Florida Events Newsletter
Get a roundup of the best events and things to do in South Florida so you can make it an epic weekend.
Up and sundown: A new rooftop party will debut 4-10 p.m. Sunday at the recently opened Sunset Club Rooftop above the Costa Hollywood Beach Resort (777 N. Ocean Drive). The club is by Last Call Hospitality Group, best known for Miami’s Tipsy Flamingo. The monthly Sunset Sessions Sunday will feature DJs (Techneekz, J Martinez, Machina, RY3 Drummer, Ben Nigrelli) and, as you’d expect, a sweet view of the sun going down. Entry is $10 before 5 p.m., $20 after. Really? Visit Instagram.com/sunsetclubrooftop.
Sunday beer: I plan to spend part of my Sunday afternoon with Bat Flip, a smooth 5.4 ABV lager from Gulf Stream Brewing in Fort Lauderdale (a little off the beaten track at 1105 NE 13th St.), in honor of opening weekend of baseball and the hometown Marlins’ home opener on April 14 against the bumbling Philadelphia Phillies. Visit Facebook.com/gulfstreambrewing.
Cherry balm: An end-of-week de-stresser comes to downtown Fort Lauderdale with the inaugural Riverwalk Rhythm & Brews festival 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Esplanade Park. Co-sponsored by Funky Buddha Brewery, the event will feature Delray Beach rockers Spider Cherry, lawn games, food trucks and a few beers. Admission is free. Visit FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.
Shopping and Dubbing: Fort Lauderdale-based shopping and confabbing series the Flamingo Flea will make its debut in Boca Raton noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Crazy Uncle Mike’s restaurant-brewery. Visit Facebook.com/theflamingoflea. Later that night, popular local rabble-rousers Spred the Dub will perform. Visit CrazyUncleMikes.com.
Dancing in the street: If you want to immerse yourself in a particular style of life in Fort Lauderdale, tickets are on sale for the annual Las Olas Wine & Food Festival, bringing together top local restaurants and national wineries 7:30-10:30 p.m. April 22 for four blocks of sipping and sampling. Oh, and silent disco. Tickets cost $150, with proceeds going to the American Lung Association. Visit LasOlasWFF.com.