Best Of 2018

Best celebration of local music: VIBES OF THE BAY

With the dissolution of Ybor festivals like WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave, THX MGMT’s Summer Jam and the Plan B festival, Bay area residents were left with few options for day-long events wholly committed to local and regional acts (shout-out to Don’t Stop St. Pete). Not anymore; Vibes of the Bay festival returned to Cigar City in August, and while the sold-out affair did feature a soul singer from Puerto Rico, the rest of the two-stage, multi-genre lineup was a flawless celebration of homegrown young talent all dolled up in a light and stage setup usually utilized in venues twice the size of Crowbar. Symphonic Distribution may be an international company, but having its HQ in downtown Tampa and festivals like this one make us feel like local creators have another major ally in their corner. —RR