The Fourth of July symbolizes Independence Day for The United States of America. The holiday at the peak of summer with so many American’s cherishing the parades, barbeques, and fireworks. The Fourth of July 2020 will be remembered as the American Holiday that closed some of the beaches and most municipalities shuttering their fireworks displays. The American spirit was not quelled on the space coast in Palm Bay, Florida.
Two men from local bands, Warren Von Kruck of Shovelhed and Eric Frates of Hypersona had a dream to organize a 4th of July festival. Proceeds would benefit local musicians and local music vendors of staging and production who have had their livelihoods affected by the Covid-19 shutdowns of local businesses and large gatherings. The $20.00 per person gate for the event was also slated to benefit first responders and military veterans.
The dream of these great Americans was The Freedom Festival to be held just outside Orlando, Fl showcasing a festival with four local bands. But the location was scuttled a week before the event thus leaving the festival in jeopardy. Space Coast Harley-Davidson in Palm Bay stepped up and donated their land to host the event. Thus, the show developed a new moniker, Freedom Festival “The Show Must Go on”. The perseverance of the American spirit again delivered results and All Music Magazine was not going to let this event go uncovered.
The biggest risk to a festival located on the coast of Florida in July is always rain. At 2:45pm the temperature was in the low nineties under partly cloudy skies, the weather was perfect! Master of ceremonies Ira Bostian came on stage and welcomed the sparce crowd in attendance. Then Pastor Oscar G Longoria of The Rock Church in Titusville, Florida was introduced for the invocation. The surprise was pastor Longoria came strapped with a guitar and after a few words, proceeded to play the famous Star Spangled Banner in the iconic Jimi Hendrix arrangement made famous from his Woodstock performance in 1969.
The first two bands Diesel from Daytona and Shovelhed from Orlando sets went off like clockwork. But then the skies darkened, and the lightening started putting the remainder of the festival in jeopardy. The delay lasted about an hour as everyone ran to cover, either in their automobiles or the nearby motorcycle dealership.
Once heavy rain subsided, “The Show Must Go On” spirit was again in full force. Hayfire, an Orlando based country rock band took the stage under drizzling skies that were trying desperately to clear. With time not being an ally, the final jam was moved up and hosted on stage after a few songs.
Ronny Rodriguez of Diesel came back on stage to sing a couple of songs, Steve Savage of Hypersona grabbed a guitar, then Rodriguez yielded to Eric Frates of Hypersona as he belted out “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Even the stage tech Anthony “Dragon” Baldwin got into the act switching spots with Brandon Irons Goldthwaite behind the drum kit right in the middle of a song!
Spectators had erected tents to block the sun and rain, and vendor food trucks were setup at the back of the fenced venue. This event was setup to handle a few hundred spectators. I am sure the change in location at the last minute from Orlando to the coast hurt the turnout of the local live music fans. In all, the event was highly organized and those in attendance enjoyed themselves and saw a great show. Central Florida’s local live music scene needs to make events like this a staple to showcase the amazing local talent that resides in Florida. All Music Magazine thanks all that were involved that made this event happen.
Ronny Rodriguez – Vocals
John Gaynor – Guitar
Eric Schramm – Bass
Josh Lough – Drums
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Brooks Vaughan (lead vocals)
Takara Lee (lead vocals)
Brandon Irons Goldthwaite (drums)
Brian Molnar (drums)
Bill Bernhard (bass / vocals)
Steve Becker (steel / guitar / harmonica)
Jordan King (lead guitar)
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Ira Bostian‘s Speech
Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.