As far as headliners go, Whigfest has completely knocked it out of the park in 2019. The annual President’s Day weekend festival is always a celebration of fantastic locals, and this year is no exception, but the inclusion of bluegrass shredders Trampled By Turtles (playing Saturday) and Tyler Childers (Sunday’s headliner) is a huge win. The Turts may be the best touring act in their scene right now, and the 27-year-old Childers is set to have a breakout year.
The Kentucky songwriter’s latest LP, Purgatory, was produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, and it rightfully landed on dozens of 2017 year-end best-of lists thanks to the way the album’s songs capture the beauty of his home state while also showcasing the Pulitzer-worthy prose that Childers’ wounded drawl delivers in heart-aching fashion. Whigfest’s cherry on top is the inclusion of fast-rising Nashville songwriter Liz Cooper, whose guitar arrangements and solos have made her band, The Stampede, one of the most sought-after psych-rock and folk bands in America.
Whigfest w/Tyler Childers/Trampled By Turtles/Liz Cooper and The Stampede/Southern Avenue/Flow Tribe/Front Country/Lindsay Lou/Have Gun, Will Travel/Los Colognes/The Trongone Band/The Honey Hounds/more. Sat. & Sun. Feb. 16-17. Various venues, Ybor City. whigfest.com.