The 27th annual Great Atlantic Festival celebrates Bikinis and Boots with a new country music format March 19 in Jacksonville Beach. Formerly the Great Atlantic Seafood Festival, the all new Country Music Fest celebrates the best the south has to offer with boots, bikinis and brews.
“Even though it’s technically the oldest festival, the Great Atlantic Festival has kind of morphed over the years as it finds its way,” says festival founder Sam Veal. “We hope that this will become the start of something really great.”
With the move of the Florida Country Music Fest from Everbank Field to the Daytona Speedway, the Great Atlantic Country Festival fills a void in the local country music scene. The diverse lineup of young, up and coming country artists includes Cort Carpenter, J Collins, JB Crockett, Red Roots, 309C and The Crazy Daysies.
“We wanted local fans who love country music to have the opportunity to come and enjoy it without having to pay $75,” Veal says. “There’s a lot more folks who can’t afford that $75 then there are who can. We want to present the music that our community loves and we have some terrific musical talent here in our own backyard.”
Sisters Rebecca Day and Jen Day-Thompson are the heart and soul of The Crazy Daysies. Growing up, the girls were raised on a steady diet of country classics like Merle Haggard and George Strait. With Rebecca as front woman and Jen on viola and backing vocals, the country acoustic duo are making a name for themselves with their original music. They will perform at the Great Atlantic Country Fest with a full band. “We’re excited because we really get to rock out with that. We’re so glad to be a part of any new outlet for country music,” says Day. “That’s what it’s all about for us. It makes the long drives and the late nights all worth it. It’s really about creating a grassroots chain of people who hear our music or see us live. They support our music and what we’re trying to do.”
Red Roots is another family band comprised of The Taylor triplets: Nicole, Natalie, and Nika. Red Roots will make you do a triple take as beautiful and talented women with fiery red hair. But give them a listen, and they will capture your heart with their striking harmonies and incredible musicianship. As can be imagined it’s difficult to tell the sisters apart. At theredroots.com, the girls offer a glimpse into the individual traits and unique quirks that set them apart. Onstage, the sisters work together to create an appealing blend of country and southern gospel music. “We do a lot of country festivals. We bring energy, instrumentation, and harmonies, but we like to cut up and have a good time, too,” says Nicole Taylor. “We want our crowd to have a good time, be entertained, and be positive.”
With a new single ‘Let Me See Your Koozie’, Cort Carpenter is a rising star. “This single has the potential of being a game changer and put me on the map if enough country fans hear it. I just would love the opportunity to be heard on this tune, and then see how country music responds to it,” he says on his website. “I’m working hard to get it out in as many ways as possible without having huge funding behind me just yet. That is where I get stuck, but I continue to try new things.”
J Collins pays tribute to the working class hero on his self-penned EP Green Means Go. As a writer, singer, producer, and publisher, Collins captures an audience with his showmanship and unbreakable spirit. He picked up a guitar at 12 and never looked back, moving to Nashville in 2006 and honing his craft at writers nights and open mics nights. Collins has shared the stage with Alan Jackson, Randy Travis and Jake Owen at the 2012 Runaway Country Music Festival and opened for such artists as Molly Hatchet, Colt Ford, and Big & Rich.
JB Crockett realized his passion for country music at an open mic night while a student at the University of Florida. He made his rounds as a solo-acoustic act, later forming a band in January of 2014. Crockett is gaining a following headlining shows as well as opening for acts like Easton Corbin, Frankie Ballard, Old Dominion, and more. Crockett recently released his first video single for ‘Little Whiskey Girl’ and released an EP in April 2015.
Hailing from Palatka, 309C embraces their southern rock and country backgrounds in their music. Comprised of Jeremy Daughtry, Ryan Eubanks, Matt Hurst, Jordan Andrews and Zach Colley, 309C is making a name for themselves on the regional country circuit. Their EP is entitled Make It Big in a Small Town.
A VIP season pass is available through Jax Beach Festivals for all of their festivals for $99. Amenities include private, front-row seating area. For other ticket options and more information, visit greatatlanticfestival.com.