The Lauren Mitchell Band will perform at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival on Saturday, November 17 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota. The popular group consists of singer Lauren Mitchell, organist Mike Hensley, bass player and vocalist Kevin Voigt, and guitarist Bob Dielman. Lauren acknowledges Etta James, Koko Taylor, Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin as women that have influenced her passion for singing and performing.
Guitarist Ben Hammond will also perform at the free regional festival celebrating the importance of Sarasota Bay to our region’s environment and economy. Ben will serve as the MC on the live music stage. He has shared his unique brand of live-looped Acoustic Soul-Pop with audiences at hundreds of venues and festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Three additional bands will be announced over the next 10 days. The final music schedule will be presented on the festival website in early November at sarasotabaywaterfestival.com.
The theme of the inaugural water festival is Enjoy the Bay and the highlights include a Creative Arts Tent showcasing some of the area’s top wildlife photographers selling art items, a display of the winning submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest, and exhibits promoting boating, fishing, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding, and other fun activities. The Observer Media Group is sponsoring the Creative Arts Tent.
Florida’s first “iceberg” will be unveiled at the water festival thanks to the creativity of Rick Herzog, a Sculpting Professor at New College of Florida. The free event will also showcase local food trucks and a 4pm show by the award-winning Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team. Guests can also visit the popular Mote Aquarium at no cost if they receive a special stamp at the festival.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the host sponsor and Triple 3 Marketing (T3M) is managing the festival. SBEP is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. T3M is the same team that produced the E-Fest Green Living Music & Arts Festival in 2007 and 2008.
Festival sponsors in random order include: Freedom Boat Club, Brita Hydration Station, Economy Tackle, Whole Foods Market, City of Sarasota, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Solar Direct, Manatee County, Observer Media Group, Sarasota Outboard Club, Sierra Club, Sarasota County, HDR Engineering, Inc., Town of Longboat Key, Sun King Disc Sports, City of Bradenton, Janicki Environmental, Inc., WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio, Sarasota Wind & Water Adventures, Caldwell Trust Company, Visit Sarasota County, New College of Florida, Scheda Ecological Associates, Inc., I Kayak Sarasota, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Save Our Seabirds, Reef Innovations, WSMR 89.1 with WUSF Public Media, Sarasota Audubon Society, Manatee Audubon Society, Nature’s Academy, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Stantec, Transformation Magazine, Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival, Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County, Bobcat Disposal, Longboat Key Resort & Club, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Suncoast Food Trucks, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Sight & Sound Audiovisual, and UF/IFAS Extension. Many other organizations are involved with the water festival as exhibitors.