The inaugural Fool’s Paradise took place the first weekend in April at St. Augustine Amphitheater in St. Augustine, Florida. Hosted by funk phenomenon Lettuce and production companies Purple Hat Productions and Live For Live Music, the two-day festival featured rare artist collaborations, beautiful weather and an energized crowd of all ages.
The weekend kicked off Friday in the lot of the venue on the Shipwreck Stage with bands Morning Fatty and Love Chunk. The intimate amphitheater, holding approximately 4,000 seats, opened around 4 p.m. with funk DJs Marvel Years and Goldfish. Goldfish, hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, got fans on their feet as they threw out cardboard goldfish and created groovy mashups with instruments including a miniature sax, flute and double bass.
Next on the lineup were party-givers Lettuce, featuring Eric Krasno on guitar and Nigel Hall on vocals for a few tracks. Griz followed Lettuce with a set before the two collaborated on stage for a final half hour to end the regularly scheduled events. Late night shows took place a few steps down the road at Elk’s Lodge with guests Vulfpeck and Break Science.
Saturday’s amphitheater shows began with duo Brass Tracks. Brass Tracks, another featured DJ and live instrument collab, included a guest appearance by Trey Anastasio Band’s Natalie Cressman on trombone. The Nth Power hit the stage next, bringing high level energy that radiated throughout everyone in attendance.
After the funk of The Nth Power, Vulfpeck’s set began with an on stage wedding of two fans and band leader Theo Katzman taking a selfie video, for his mom, with the crowd to celebrate his 30th birthday. Vulfpeck’s hour included jokes and guests Antwaun Stanley and Cory Henry. This was a special treat as Stanley has contributed vocals to Vulfpeck’s studio album but rarely performs live with the band, and Henry of Snarky Puppy served as Fool’s Paradise Artist-at-Large for the weekend.
To follow was another all-star collaboration, The Chris Robinson Soul Revue. The band composed of George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno, Ivan Neville, Nikki Glapsie, Neal Case, The Shady Horns and Cory Henry as they covered a variety of popular tunes by Otis Redding, Allen Toussaint, Joe Cocker and more. The power halted for a few minutes during the set, but instead of deterring the musicians it gave a perfect solo opportunity for Glapsie on the drums. The night wrapped up with a final set by Lettuce before wishing those in attendance farewell. While shows in the amphitheater were complete, separate shows by Goldfish and Fools of Funk Supergroup continued late night in St. Augustine.
Photos by Olivia Wilkes