Last August, Hurricane Idalia directly hit the picturesque Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground, as well as the nearby city of Live Oak, Florida. Both bore the full brunt of its awesome fury and while each was left bearing some scars, they both survived thanks to the resiliency of the land and the love its residents have for their homes. Working around the clock, park owner James Cornett, park general manager Teena Peavey, alongside Kenny Harrell, head of Suwannee maintenance, managed to get the beloved venue back open just in time for the October events Suwannee Roots Revival and the String Cheese Incident-hosted Suwannee Hulaween.

Now, with a whole season passed and enough time to truly whip the park completely back into shape, the first few events are scheduled, tickets are selling fast, and anticipation is building. Dedicated fans are preparing to return en masse to one of America’s most beloved music venues to once again dance the day and night away. March sees the Spirit Of Suwannee hit the ground running, refreshed and raring to go with Suwannee Spring Reunion leading the way.

Spring Reunion brings a full slate of bluegrass and Americana bands including longtime park fan faves Donna The Buffalo, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Railroad Earth, as well as a packed undercard of acts like Peter Rowan, Jon Stickley Trio, Keller Williams, and so many more.

Keller & The Hillbenders – “You Got Lucky”, “Wildflowers”, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” (Tom Petty). “American Girl” (Tom Petty) – Suwannee Roots Reunion 2018

“[Returning after the hurricane] was a massive undertaking,” longtime Suwannee Park partner and producer Beth Judy (Suwannee Roots, Springfest and Magnoliafest) told Live For Live Music.

“Festivals require a lot of time and effort on the part of the park staff as well as the festival staff in normal times. Going into that, after basically working long days for weeks on end without knowing that we would be able to complete enough to safely host the event… I am very excited not to be doing that again! I’m always happy to share the park with our community and it’s fun to see positive changes that happen while we are away.”

Along with her husband Randy, Judy has been putting on shows at the park for decades. “The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is well named. It is a very special place to me and has been since the first time I visited,” she said. “There is an energy there that is hard to define yet is palpable. It seems to enhance group dynamics which lends itself beautifully to music-based events.

“When Randy and I decided to do our first festival there in 1997, we were drawn by the existing amphitheater stage and the overall park infrastructure, which is very important, but the natural beauty of the places and that energy, that vibe is what firmed up our decision that we found our home. Home is an often-used term when you ask people what it feels like at Suwannee.”

Steep Canyon Rangers – “In The Next Life” – Suwannee Roots Revival 2021

When asked about March’s upcoming Suwannee Spring Reunion’s impressive roster of acts, which includes many artists who have become like Suwannee royalty over the years, Judy said, “We are so very blessed to have such a talented and loved group of musicians as part of our festivals on an ongoing basis. They are at the heart of what makes these festivals special! They are the musical glue that binds it all together. Once again, community is the magic sauce.”

Looking toward the future, Judy said they “absolutely want to grow Suwannee Spring Reunion!” She continued, “Growth and change are a requirement of anything that is to be sustained. While we have a wide age range of attendees with generations of families and chosen families and friends who attend every festival, we also need new folks of all ages to discover the fun and joy (and therapeutic effects) that can be found at the festival. We plan to keep our festival community vibe, but we’ve got room to do that and grow too. So please, y’all bring a friend in 2024! They will thank you!”

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band – “Panama Red”, “The Hobo Song” – Suwannee Roots Revival 2022

Tickets for the upcoming Suwannee Spring Reunion are available here. The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park & Campground is open year round with cabins and golf carts for rent for those who want to escape for the weekend, and pull-through RV spots with all the hook-ups and gorgeous primitive camping locations are spread across its vast acreage for those who want to get a little closer to nature. However you choose to enjoy your stay, there’s a full-service General Store, restaurants, a music hall, and miles of scenic trails to ride and hike alongside the beautiful Suwannee River. Reservations for accommodations of all levels of park admittance are available here.

Sam Bush – “Circles Around Me” – Suwannee Roots Revival 2021