Rockabillaque Florida arrives at the Seminole Casino Hotel
Rockabillaque Florida, a free two-day music festival presented by Florida Weekly at the Seminole Casino Hotel, is packed with entertainment for all ages from 10 a.m. until well past midnight, Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20. Organizers expect a strong turnout of 15,000-20,000 for this celebration of 1950s American and rockabilly music, featuring more than 20 live concerts, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, pin-ups and more again.
“In the 1950s, rockabilly was the traditional rock and roll music of Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, which then became the rock and roll of today,” says event organizer Simon Canton of Vive Le Rock Productions. “There’s a lot of variation in this music, and we’ve got a wide mix – from traditional rockabilly to psychobilly (a harder version) to jazzy swing and honky-tonk – so you’re not going to be looking at bands which all sound the same.”
On the main stage outside, the music starts at 10 a.m. both days and ends at 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 8:30 p.m. on Sundays. The casino’s Zig Zag Lounge will host a series of concerts from 1:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., allowing patrons to drink or gamble while listening to entertainment inside.
Saturday’s headliners are the Delta Bombers, from Las Vegas, and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, a three-piece country blues band from Indiana. Sunday highlights include Slim Jim Phantom, the longtime Stray Cats drummer who enjoyed a two-decade solo career, and Texas-based psychobilly trio The Reverend Horton Heat, on a return visit down south -West Florida by popular demand.
The weekend car and motorcycle show will feature hundreds of vehicles. “The car and bike show is a big part of the event. We like to keep it interesting and diverse, so we welcome everything from rat rods and hot rods to vintage trucks, classic cars and chopper motorcycles,” says Cantlon. “It’s a visually stimulating sight, ideal for selfies and photo ops.”
To add to the fun, a series of competitions. Saturday’s pin-up contest hosted by popular genre celebrity Miss Pinup Miami features female dolls competing for the crown. “They dress all the way in mid-century clothing – a lot of it is handmade. They are dressed and made up. It’s amazing to see and people love it,” says Cantlon. Also on the program are competitions for the best tattoos on Saturday and the best beards and mustaches on Sunday. Funds raised from contest entry fees benefit Valiant Animal Rescue and Just 1 Outreach, which helps veterans with disabilities.
Vendors will be offering vintage clothing, arts and crafts, jewelry, and auto and motorcycle show-related items. Food trucks will serve barbecue, Italian specialties, hot dogs, sandwiches and vegetarian dishes, while the casino will sell beer, wine and spirits. Participants are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Outside food or drink is not permitted. Only assistance dogs will be allowed.
All concerts and parking are free. The Seminole Casino Hotel is located at 506 South 1st Street, Immokalee. For detailed schedules, contest entry, parking directions and more, visit www.rockabillaqueflorida.com and www.seminoleimmokaleecasino.com/event-calendar/rockabillaque-florida. ¦
In the TO KNOW
When: February 19 and 20
Where: Seminole Casino Hotel, 506 S. 1st St., Immokalee
Information: www.rockabillaqueflorida.com and www.seminoleimmokaleecasino.com/event-calendar/rockabillaque-florida