2024 Florida Classic report

Adam Haynes and Rhonda Vincent fiddle at the 2024 Florida Classic – photo © Bill Warren

The 2024 edition of the Florida Classic is in the books. Some wind, some rain, some sunshine, and lots of enthusiastic fans marked this bluegrass and country music event.

Swinging Bridge opened the day on Friday. They are in demand in south Florida.

Remedy Tree played two sets. Their second set came after an hour delay due to a rain storm that passed through. They did the set under the pavilion while the stage was being dried out. They played and sang without sound reinforcement, and the audience really enjoyed being up close and personal.

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage played their first set in a stiff crosswind. She said they needed to do all of their wind-related songs! Mickey Harris moved her bus to the upwind side of the stage during the supper break. It did help.

Ernie and Debi’s son Michael Evans brought his ’50s through ’70s pop show to the Classic stage. It was enjoyed by all.

Rhonda closed out the day, as the evening cooled off when the sun went down. 

Justin Mason and Blue Night opened the Saturday show. They are becoming one of Florida’s busiest bands. Justin got his love of bluegrass from his father and grandfather. He is known as “Mr. Bluegrass” in Florida.

Rebekah Speer came in from Nashville. She and Ernie toured with Valerie Smith some years ago. Shelton & Williams joined her for this show – Jay Shelton and Johnny and Jeanette Williams – who are now label mates on Turnberry Records with Rebekah. The great Jimmy Blackwood joined in on a couple of tunes. You may notice Jimmy wearing a sling. He took a tumble, but is recovering nicely.

The Gibson Brothers made their first Classic appearance in a couple years. They are as rock solid as ever. They have a new project out named Darkest Hour. They also brought along Eric Gibson’s son’s project titled The Keeping Kind. Kelley and Eric wrote all of the songs on the project. It has a country flavor with a definite Gibson sound.

The legendary Exile closed out the festival. They sang many of their hits from over the years along with songs they wrote and other groups recorded. The crowd was ready for more when they finished a truly great set of music.

Support your local music venues.