BaseFEST to Delight First Coast Military Families


Heads up, military families! Good food, great fun, and live entertainment are coming to town this weekend. BaseFEST will visit Naval Station Mayport on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 1-10 PM. Entry is free for troops and family members, though tickets are required and easily accessible through the BaseFEST website.

Founded by Army Veteran Sean Gilfillan, BaseFEST is a traveling concert series meant to bring comradery to the military community. It’s more than just a concert. BaseFEST offers gaming and technology, sports and fitness, kid’s zones, and food and beverages alongside world-class performers to create an unforgettable experience. BaseFEST will visit 5 of the nation’s largest military bases in 2018, featuring performing artists Lee Brice, the Randy Rogers Band, Lauren Duski, Carlton Zeus, and Ha-Ha-Tonka.

Lee Brice

Headline performer Lee Brice gained street-cred writing hit songs for Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, and Tim McGraw.  This rising country music star climbed to the top of the charts with hits like CMA Song of the Year “I Drive Your Truck’ and ACM Producer and Artist of the Year song “I Don’t Dance.” Brice’s retro honky-tonk style incorporates elements of pop and rock into a unique, sole-tapping sound.  Brice appeared on NBC’s Today show in November 2017 promoting his recent album Lee Brice.

Randy Rogers Band

“We are so proud and honored to be playing BaseFEST,” says Randy Rogers of the Texas-based Randy Rogers Band, “The sacrifices made for our beautiful country by our service men and women are forever on our hearts and minds.” Featured on RollingStone ‘s “40 Best Country Albums of 2016”  for Nothing Shines Like Neon, this 6-member country music band is prepared to rouse the crowd and get the party started. Rogers tells Jaxons, “Get ready to dance!”

Hailed as “the missing piece in country music right now” by Blake Shelton, Lauren Duski rose to fame on NBC’s The Voice in 2017 and is a rising country music star as well as a military brat. “Playing BaseFEST again really hits home for me because both of my parents and grandfather served in the Air Force, and I know the sacrifice that comes with it,” she says, “Being able to give our soldiers a break for a night and share music is an honor. I remember the energy in the crowd from the last BaseFEST show, and I can’t wait!”

The evening isn’t entirely devoted to country music. Joining the lineup is Carlton Zeus, a Mexican-American hip-hop artist from San Antonio. Zeus was featured on The Current’s “Top 10 Albums of 2011” and is best known for “The Spread Mixtape” and “Sharpie Solo.”

Ha-Ha Tonka, Photo By Jason Conulsen
Ha-Ha Tonka, Photo By Jason Conulsen

Finishing off the lineup is Indie rock/ Southern Rock quartet Ha Ha Tonka. Their unique name is a tribute to Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Missouri and a nod to their proud Ozark roots.  The group appeared on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in 2011 and Conan in 2017.  “We were really honored to be asked to perform at four BaseFESTS across the US this summer,” says lead-singer Brian Roberts, “It might sound a little cliché, but it feels good getting the opportunity to give something back to folks who give so much to us. Having played our first BaseFEST at Ft. Bliss [this spring], I think I’m looking forward the most to just meeting more people who are truly doing something exceptional with their lives. Needless to say, we’re pumped to head down to Jacksonville!” Ha-Ha Tonka is best known for their song “Usual Suspects.”

BaseFEST 2018 will rock Naval Station Mayport this Saturday, June 2nd,  from the Multi-Purpose Field across from 414 Massey Ave. Base access is required and each guest over the age of 10 must have a ticket. BaseFEST aims to boost morale and give the NE Florida’s military population an opportunity to enjoy great music while also building stronger family and community connections.

About Jennifer Melville

Jennifer Melville is a contributing writer for EU Jacksonville, South Magazine, Folio Magazine, Green Prints, Focus on the Family, and various other print and online publications. She’s a military wife, mother of four, and a leader in the NE Florida homeschooling community. You can check out more of her work on her website, Azalea Publications or follow her on Twitter.