Blackwater Music and Arts Festival 2011: Through The Lens

By Phillip C. Sunkel IV|
Video by Jack Davisson (Special to The Gargoyle)

On September 22-24, the reggae electronic jam festival Blackwater took over the forests alongside the Suwannee river in Live Oak, Fla. For three days college students, hippies and other fun-loving festival goers endured the rain and heat to catch some of  their favorite bands.

Day 1

Zach Deputy:

On the first day Greenhouse Lounge, Zach Deputy, Perpetual Groove and EOTO laid down the soundtrack to the opening of the festival. Long rains late in the afternoon literally turned the amphitheater into a swimming hole.














Zach Deputy played the second set of the festival, after Greenhouse Lounge was forced off of stage due to flooding.








Recommended listening for Zach Deputy: Chicken Pot Pie


As the hours passed the swimming hole slowly became the amphitheater again as Perpetual Groove got ready to take the stage.

















Perpetual Groove:

Perpetual Groove took the second to last spot of the evening, delivering a set which kept the entire crowd moving.










As the crowd grew wilder, P. groove built off the energy fulfilling the festival goers desire to dance.


Recommended listening for Perpetual Groove: TSMM, Teakwood Betz












EOTO took the last spot on friday feeding the crowds hunger for dubstep.








EOTO closed out the last of the nights shows with some huge climaxes and bass drops.

Recommended listening for EOTO: Ahyndru, Flying Red












EOTO at Blackwater by Phillip Sunkel


Late Night:

Walking back from EOTO's set, people were ecstatic to see Zach Deputy's broad smiling face as his crew set up the campground stage. Deputy ended up playing until almost everyone was asleep, except for 100 or so people dedicated to keeping the dancing alive.











Day 2

The second day of Blackwater was filled with reggae bands to help cool off from the Fla. heat. Mike Pinto Band rocked one of the earlier sets of the day, as well as one of the late night sets. Recommended listening: The cool and the deadly, Tricky Nicky.

One of the best things about Suwannee Music Park is that you can find members of every band wandering around the grounds. Ras I Ray, bassist of the Easy Star All Stars, poses for a photo while meeting fans.














Tornado Rider:

The ever theatrical and nonsensical Tornado Rider dirtied up the amphitheater with their punk-rock inspired folk tales.


Evelyn Seiler and Alyssa Murfey, two Flagler College students, were even pulled onto stage where the lead singer tried to "Saw off" Murfey's head.












Easy Star All Stars:

Easy Star All Stars took the first prime spot of friday night, their reggae dubbed versions of songs like Radiohead's "An Airbag Saved My Life" and Pink Floyd's "Time" were definite crowd favorites.



Recommended Listening for Easy Star All Stars: One Likkle Draw, A Little Help From My Friends













Ghostland Observatory:

Before Ghostland Observatory began, their laser light show was set up to draw the crowds to the stage.

Aaron Behrens, lead singer of Ghostland Observatory, danced through the blinding maze of lazers and strobes to get to the mic. Recommended Listening: Glitter, Sad Sad City











From the back of the amphitheater, Ghostlands lightshow was a mind-melting glory of colors.



Glitter by Ghostland Observatory filmed by Jack Davisson (Special to The Gargoyle)












Girl Talk:

Gregg Gillis, the mastermind behind mashup phenomenon girl talk, pumps up the crowd before he gets started.













Festival goers dance along the edge of the stage during girl talk’s set.

Girl talk's set ended with a bang of confetti cannon fire as strobe lights showered the crowd with light.


Day 3

The Expendables

The Expendables played an early afternoon set just before Pepper. Recommended listening: Burning up, Let Loose.

Geoff Weers, lead singer and guitarist of The Expendables, soars above the crowd.

Geoff Weers, lead singer and guitarist of The Expendables, soars above the crowd.














Kaleo Wassman, lead singer and guitarist of Pepper, basks in the sun as he sings his song "tradewinds."

Recommended listening for Pepper: Mirror, Ambition, Tradewinds.












The Flaming Lips:

The Flaming Lips celebrated the second to last set of the evening with dancers, confetti cannons, giant balloons, blow-up aliens/star man, and a rather intense light show.

Giant Balloons hover over the crowd as Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips put on a show that is hard to forget.










Recommended listening for The Flaming Lips: Do You Realize?, The Fight Test




The Flaming Lips at Blackwater 2011 by Jack Davisson (Special to The Gargoyle)



Sound Tribe Sector 9 closed out the last set of the weekend, putting an end to the dance frenzy that is Blackwater Music Festival.

Recommended listening for STS9: when the dust settles, shock doctrine

Scheme by STS9 filmed by Jack Davisson (Special to The Gargoyle)

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