Go | Mighty Oak, the Cummer’s first-ever music festival, is this weekend

Photo of Stacey Bennett performing
Stacey Bennett of Jax band Folk is People performing in the gardens of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens | Credit: Photo courtesy of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

How old is too old for a music festival? It’s a question I couldn’t fathom when I was in my early twenties. And one I began giving more thought to as I crossed the midline of my thirties. Certainly, for some, the crowds, the humble accommodations, the late-nights (the mind-altering substances, if you’re into that) never get old.

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, which turns 60 this year, is taking a full-on stage dive into its first ever music festival, hosting more than a dozen local and regional artists across its sprawling 2.5 acres of gardens on Saturday, April 30. In coordination with the museum’s American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection (currently on view), the revered Riverside cultural institution is inviting musicians and artisans into its gardens for a unique event.

Festival flyer for Mighty Oak Music Festival

Billed as the Mighty Oak Music & Makers Festival –– mighty oak in honor of its regal, roughly-200-year-old live oak –– Saturday’s festivities include a long list of Northeast Florida makers and artisans stationed throughout the gardens and performances by some of the region’s most innovative artists, including Duval-hip-hop-scene-stalwarts L.OV.E. Culture and Mr. Al Pete, singer-songwriters Cory Driscoll and rickoLus, multi-instrumentalist Arvid Smith and even Jax’s own crafter of indelible children’s tunes Hello Mr. Joe.

“The Mighty Oak Music and Makers Festival is a wonderful opportunity to experience the diversity of Northeast Florida’s musicians and artisan communities while enjoying the beautiful experience of the Cummer Gardens,” said Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, the George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum in a press release. “As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we are excited to create opportunities to engage the wide range of artists that contribute to the cultural fabric of the First Coast.”

In typical festival style: visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket. (Bubbles, hippie stix, hula-hoops and other typical festival ephemera, however, went unaddressed in the press release. But maybe consider showing Ninah Cummer how to properly festival. It’s her first time, anyhow!)

The Mighty Oak Music and Makers Festival is held from noon-9 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. Tickets start at $15.

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