written by Connor McAuliffe
photos by Connor Hayes
Returning for its second year in sunny St. Augustine, Florida A Fool’s Paradise did not disappoint with the amounts of funk, jams and lettuce (literally). As new as A Fool’s Paradise still is, it draws the right crowd to set the vibe of the attendees. With a lineup that boasted some great bands such as Lettuce (2 sets), Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and even a star studded appearance by Oteil Burbridge, it made the sophomore year one to remember.
Music genre: Jam Bands and Future Funk
Capacity: Extra Small (1k-2k attendees)
Crowd type: Art Students, Deadheads, Wooks, Families
Water stations: Yes
For The First Timers – The venue is located in St. Augustine Beach and is located right next to some campgrounds at Anastasia State Park. It is recommended to fly into Jacksonville or Orlando to commute to the amphitheater. The venue is also limited on parking, so it is recommended to take an Uber. If you happen to drive, you can tailgate/hang out at your car with your squad to pregame for the day. The venue allows in and out of the amphitheater as long as it is within the hours of the shows each day. The shows started around 3pm and ended around 10:30pm.
Musical Highlights – With numerous talented artists, it is hard to pick a favorite set aside from Lettuce both nights.
- Oteil Burbridge – The biggest surprise of the weekend was Oteil Burbridge sitting in with Lettuce on night one. With a reputation of playing with Dead & Company and the Allman Brothers Band, this was quite the treat for attendees.
- Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – Personally, jam bands are not my favorite types of music, but Joe Russo’s Almost Dead captured my attention for entire set and I could not stop dancing. With a wide selection of jams, it made night one a great way to kick off the weekend.
- The Floozies – Night two hosted the Floozies before Lettuce. The Shady Horns had a special sit in appearance for a handful of songs the Floozies had played. There was plenty of funk to go around during this set to make anyone want to boogie.
Things To Do – While you weren’t busy jamming out to the music, you could have caught yourself camping out in the parking lot checking out a few vendors. Aside from the vendors, there was also a pre party at the Elk’s Lodge on Saturday that started at 1pm and was free to all two day pass holder and single day attendees. The artists included Ajeva, The Groove Orient, and Ben Stroke & the Full Electric. The most unique addition to A Fool’s Paradise is the artist lead excursions on Saturday. There was three unique excursions that included a different experience for each person who attended.
- The Shady Horns DJ Set at Sea aboard the Schooner Freedom Charter.
- Ping Pong tournament with Adam Deitch and Adam Smirnoff.
VIP or Nah – The VIP package includes your two day pass for the festival along with priority access to the pit area and seating and discounted beverages in the VIP area. You are also entitled to a Fool’s Paradise t-shirt and poster that was designed by AJ Masthay (see below). If you think that wasn’t enough, there is also an exclusive happy hour with artists!