Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Orlando Calling | Florida's Largest Music Festival Coming to Orlando November 2011

By Mark Baratelli (Video & Story)
Staff Page

January 4, 2010 | The state of Florida's largest (and newest) music festival, Orlando Calling (Facebook, Twitter), will be presented for the first time ever November 11-13, 2011 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando by European event promoter Festival Republic. Its expected to draw over 100,000 fans in 2011 and is the first American event Festival Republic has put on in ten years. Event promoter Festival Republic is bringing it to Orlando. Veteran Event Promoter and Festival Republic Managing Director Melvin Benn spoke at a press conference held at the Amway Center January 4, 2010, introduced by Orlando Venues Executive Director Alan Johnson.

Melvin Benn has produced music festivals all over the UK and Europe and in the 90s, he promoted several Irish music festivals in New York City, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Since then, he's has a ten year hiatus promoting events in the US and has been looking for opportunities, especially in the southeast.

His desire is to create an annual festival in Orlando that will take place on the the second weekend in November for the next five years that attract audiences from Central Florida and beyond. He hopes to be pushing 40-45,000 people per day of the festival and building, in three to five years time.

Musically, it remains to be seen who he will put on. Benn says the major acts will have a good deal of comfort in working with him, as they are familiar with him and his past festivals. He wants to attract names that sell nationally and locally. And speaking of local, he wants to involve local musicians as well as national names. He name dropped Hindu Cowboys and Matt Butcher in his talk. He hopes they will see the festival as a place for them to performing and enhancing their careers.

No date has been set to announce the acts and ticket prices, but he says he looks to have the announcement towards the beginning of April, just before the local Florida Music Festival.


.:mini jen:. said...

Well, most small, local fests are in October, so hopefully there won't be too much competition. I'd hate to see Anti-Pop and some of the indie fests lose out because of a mega-fest. Is this looking to be a new Lollapalooza or SXSW? Something that would attract large groups and still celebrate lesser-known, local artists would be ideal.

Lauren said...

This could be really cool!

Anonymous said...

is this gna be the same weekend as Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival? wompwompwooooomp :(. I'd choose bearcreek over this EVERY YEAR

Anonymous said...

I will attend, if requests are being considered for bands, I would love to see these bands;Beastie Boys, RHCP, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots and Metallica. Any or all of the above please, TY.

Anonymous said...

Let's embrace this and hope it's a win win for everyone involved in the Orlando music scene - fans, bands and media alike. I highly doubt Bear Creek will be affected. They have their loyal attendees. And I look for Orlando Calling to have more mainstream appeal. It will be a boost to the local economy for sure. And will hopefully help Orlando appear to be growing into the world class city that it's capable of being. Let's not jinx it by having a small-town mentality, ok? This is a fantastic opportunity all the way around and I welcome this fest with open arms and am honored, as a citizen of Orlando, that Melvin is bringing this to our city.

Brian Feldman said...

Nearly everyone I’ve mentioned this to has responded with a “Why Orlando?

I’ll tell you why!

State centrality, best airport in the state (and one of the best in the country), the UK loves Orlando, temperatures are good that time of year and the best boy bands of all-time.

doorworker said...

Makes me thing of the 'Fur is Dead' shows that used to go on around Thanksgiving-time every year, back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Orlando is like LA though, Brian, and they don't have huge music festivals in LA for many reasons, one being the traffic, another is it's already a tourist destination... like Orlando. You know the Coachella Music Festival is in the middle of the DESERT and still draws thousands of people, most of them DRIVING to get there because the Palm Springs airport is so small. But they have room for it there. Sure, Lollapalooza is in metropolitan Chicago, but at least they have a park big enough for it. We don't have any room for it here. It would be better suited at some large fairgrounds somewhere like Tampa or St. Augustine.

frankie messina said...

well… i sure do hope that this promoter is coming here knowing that the local music scene in Orlando is made up of a lot of hard working, dedicated, honest people.. and we expect him to be the same. Watching and being a part of the amazing growth culturally of the city, I know the musicians. I know also of all the hard working promoters who have established music festivals that have garnered much success.( of course there have been growing pains) and Orlando will open our arms to anyone wanting to support our Music and Arts scene. The local musicians welcome this idea. Know though that the “local music wheel” is not being created here. Largest festival in Florida?…I hope this in in regard to dollars generated for the local economy, and in integrity, love, and respect for our local scene. Welcome to “our” city..