|The inaugural event will benefit the Gulf Shore Animal League, Manatee County’s
TNR partner in its historic effort to become a “No-Kill” community.
BRADENTON – Sophie B. Hawkins, an independent music pioneer whose career started with a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, will headline the 1st Annual Pussycat Festival on Saturday,November 9.
Hawkins is among three musicians to be featured at the inaugural event. The festival will raise money for the Gulf Shore Animal League (GSAL), the all-volunteer
nonprofit group that provides most of Manatee County’s services for feral and free-roaming cats.
“We’re delighted that an animal advocate of Sophie B. Hawkins’ caliber agreed to headline our event,” said Audrey Garrison, executive director of GSAL.
“We’re honored that she is supporting the lifesaving,community-enhancing work
that GSAL does.”
Hawkins had two monster hits in the 1990s: “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover,” which climbed to No. 5 on the Billboard Charts in 1992, and “As I Lay Me Down,”
which reached No. 6 in 1995. She was nominated for a Grammy Award
for Best New Artist in 1993. Hawkins left Sony Music in 1999 over creative differences and has since released five albums and continued touring as an independent artist.
Her current projects include a play based on the life of Janis Joplin that has received rave reviews.
Hawkins will be joined on stage by Twinkle Schascle Yochim, a Sarasota-based jazz, soul and blues vocalist who has wowed audiences nationwide for 20 years;
and Kristy Lee, an up-and-coming blues/rock singer known for her booming deep voice.
GSAL is Manatee County’s TNR partner in the county’s historic pursuit of becoming a
“No-Kill” community; Manatee was the first county in Florida to pass a resolution in support of the “No-Kill” goal. GSAL’s focus on controlling feral cat populations through TNR (trap-neuter-return) has helped increase the county’s “save rate” for cats from
25 percent in 2009 to more than 90 percent this year. GSAL has also been instrumental in reducing the number of cats brought to Manatee’s public shelter by 33 percent.
The Pussycat Festival is 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 9, at the Tarpon Pointe Tiki Bar & Grill, 801 Riverside Dr. E., Bradenton. The venue offers one of the area’s best views of the Manatee River and rests near the end of Bradenton’s award-winning new Riverwalk.
Admission to The Pussycat Festival is $15 before October 18, and $20 after (children under 12 admitted free). Tickets are available at the door or online at
pussycatfestival.eventbrite.com. In addition to the concert, the Pussycat
Festival will feature a Chinese Auction and animal-themed drink specials.
Hotel accommodations are available within walking distance of the concert at the Courtyard Marriott Bradenton Riverfront, 100 Riverfront Dr., with rooms for up to 4 available for as little as $99.
The Pussycat Festival’s main sponsors are Bright House Networks and the Sandbar/Mar
Vista/Beach House trio of restaurants owned by Ed Chiles. In addition, sponsors include Beach Veterinary Clinic, Daugherty Media Strategies, Millennium Insurance &
Investment Group, Neal Communities, The Nolan Group Inc., Pet Supermarket,
Quality Plumbing, Visual Harmony Productions, Jill & Scott Clulow, Bradenton Small Animal Hospital,Daft Generation, The Islander, Kindness Animal Clinic,
River Landings Animal Clinic, Helm Vault Services, The Broken Tusk, Merial, and John and Rebecca Neal.