The festival name is a quirky play on the 19th century political party, the Whig Party, which was chosen to echo the American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence and opposed tyranny. The word “Whig” was then a widely recognized label of choice for people who identified themselves as Patriots, Rebels, and Revolutionaries.
The 2018 event marks the return of the festival following a two year hiatus after the promoters needed all their time, energy and resources to open Rock Brothers Brewing Company and The Attic Concert Venue in Historic Ybor City.
20+ artists will grace four stages across four venues in Ybor City on Sunday, February 18th. Sponsors include Rock Brothers Brewing & Attic Records, The Mandarin Hide, Stackpilot, and us, The Wertz Group!
This year, Chicago-based jam rockers Umphrey’s McGee are the first headliner to be announced and will perform an extended 3 hour set the second night of WhigFest. Supporting artists already confirmed for the weekend are a collection of Attic Records favorites and friends; Stokeswood, Polyenso, Forrest Hoffar, SWIMM, JT Brown, Mountain Hollar, Kristopher James and many others yet to be released, as well as the Saturday night headliner.
“Earlier this year when Umphrey’s came through Jannus, it was sold out before the gates opened. In addition, Umphrey’s McGee is one of Rock Brothers' beer partners, so were very excited to share some upcoming news about a new beer release between RBB and UM during the festival as well.” said Kevin Lilly the event co-founder and partner in local St. Petersburg record label Attic Records and Whig Party Presents, the events promoters.
This show is a special one for Umphrey’s as the band and Rock Brothers will launch their new limited release beer at WhigFest, as well as pouring the bands current beer UM’s Nothing Too Fancy Pale Ale through out the fest, a collaboration between Rock Brothers, the band, Cigar City Brewing and Boulder Beer Company.
WhigFest celebrated modest successes with its first three years booking independent artists and relying on the support of their dedicated fan bases to show up. “We made small leaps each year with WhigFest since it’s inception in 2012 making sure that original art was the focus of each festival, we celebrated our first sold out crowd in 2015 with JJ Grey & Mofro, we feel strongly that this year will be a continuation of the growth,” said Tony Casoria, co-founder of the Fest and Attic Records.
Umphrey’s McGee is a touring powerhouse, performing 100+ shows per year, headlining annual shows across the US including Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO and the Beacon Theatre in New York. Umphrey’s is a constant US festival staple, with performances at major events including Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Rothbury, and Bonnaroo (for a record tying 7th appearance this year), as well as international festivals Fuji Rock Festival (Japan) and Byran Bay Blues Festival (Australia). The band hosts their own festival in Illinois, Summer Camp Music Festival, where they perform three nights, and have hosted the likes of Primus, Janes Addiction, Thievery Corporation, and Willie Nelson, to name a few. Umphrey’s McGee has also hosted and headlined Jam in the Dam (2006. 2008. 2010), a three night mini festival at the Melkweg in Amsterdam.
You can order tickets for 2018 WhigFest HERE.