Experiencing Florida’s SRQ420 Fest

It was a beautiful Saturday with blue skies, fluffy white clouds and a nice Florida breeze on April 24th in Sarasota for a music festival — better yet, a 420 music festival! This was the second event by PotLuck SRQ, hosted by Brian Buono, who has worked hard to build this event bigger and better every time. This year, the line of people was around the block with 5,462 attendees, 90 venders, nine sponsors, six food trucks, five bands and the place was full of amazing DJ’s. It was incredible how fast the staff handled the crowd getting everyone in and taken care of, with the food trucks and vendors ready to serve and teach people about their products and the benefits of marijuana, all while multiple DJs were kicking things off with great music!

What a perfect way to celebrate the greatest of marijuana holidays.

St. Petersburg Rastafari Badda Skat, always on the mic, was pumping up the crowds as he announced the first band Meager Kings. A punk rock band from Indiana/Ohio, Meager Kings were in the middle of the Apathy Nation Tour and had just released a new song called “Deja Vu”. Also, go check out the song “Holy Ghost”, featuring Jason Devore (of Authority Zero) and produced by Ballyhoo!’s Howi Spangler, with Donald Spangler filling in on drums. Next up, Fiyah Wata took the stage, with a reggae rock-ska mix and playing the perfect song for the occasion called “Smoke Some Trees”. In between bands, the DJs took over — from Gary Dread up in a tower near the venders/food trucks to DJ Reggaeluvrr and DJ Bush Doctor at the main stage — blasting reggae music for everyone either shopping or relaxing. After that, everyone was ready for the large local band Soul Purpose IV, a seven-member full band with horns, all led by Pat Monohan. A reggae jam band, for sure, although they did an amazing cover of Fortunate Youth in between playing their own songs, like the new track “Conscious Decision”. Soul Purpose IV also had Gary Dread hop up onstage with them for a few, jamming together with fans dancing and singing along.

Another local up next was the energetic reggae rock band Summer Survivors, who rocked the stage by jumping through the air with their instruments and getting the crowd to erupt by swinging their hair everywhere. While Kash’d Out was getting the stage set up, Badda Skat brought his truck into the venue near the vendors, mixing and blasting music all from his truck he takes to all kinds of events. It all started during the lockdown, when there was no live music. People were stuck in their homes, so Badda Skat started the ‘Truck Back Tour’, bringing music and joy to people all over Florida.

Kash’d Out’s music started to come through the speakers, drawing everyone to the stage who wasn’t already packed in.

Kash’d Out is full of amazing musicians and is at the top of the American Reggae scene, with hits like “Weed Man”, “Always Vibin” and, one of my favorites, “Yes”. This band will blow you away live, even if you’ve seen them time and time again. Jackson Hauserman even had a special guest join him onstage to play the guitar: Aiden, a kid from a young band called the Twits, who are all School of Rock students. Aiden had no problem at all grabbing that guitar, jamming out, crushing alongside Kash’d Out in front of all the fans. I’m sure we will definitely be seeing more from him soon. Vocalist Greg Shields always getting the fans interacting with the band by singing and dancing along, even flapping their arms like birds or playing air guitar, always having so much fun at the same time as putting on an amazing show. Be on the lookout for the next SRQ420 event, for you don’t want to miss it!

Photography by Brian “Porkchop” Nicholson

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4 months ago

Awesome piece Brian! Thank you for capturing the vibes perfectly.