Inaugural Audacy Beach Festival Makes Splash in Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach saw the long-awaited return to live music. The music festival delivered an incredible multi-genre weekend of music during its inaugural Audacy Beach Festival on December 4 and 5. The two-day gathering drew music fans from all corners of the U.S. to the warm South Florida beaches while many parts of the nation were bracing for seasonably cold temperatures. Audacy may be the new name, but for many it’s remembered as the Riptide Music Festival that drew record numbers in attendance for many years. Audacy honored its former flagship festival by naming one of the two stages the Riptide Stage. True to form, they brought incredible music, beautiful art, great food, and a fun-filled festival experience with some definite highlights to write home about. It was a great weekend.
The power-packed lineup included performances from Twenty One Pilots, Lil Nas X, Weezer, The Lumineers, Glass Animals, Modest Mouse, Bleachers, Steve Aoki, AJR, Bastille, Walk the Moon, Yungblud, Cold War Kids, Tai Verdes, MOD SUN, Milky Chance, Willow, Beabadoobee, Cannons, girl in red, Daisy the Great, and The Regrettes.
One of the big challenges for festival executive Von Freeman, director of brand partnerships along with his team at Audacy, Inc., a leader in every segment of audio, was to deliver a solid lineup in a completely rebranded music festival in its post-covid return to live events. In its first year, Audacy didn’t disappoint and has instantly established itself as a premier event, becoming the winter destination for those who want to escape the cold and enjoy watching live band performances in a summer-like beach setting.
With clear blue skies and enough sunshine to work on your winter tan on day one of Audacy Beach Festival, England’s Glass Animals got the crowd going delivering a high-energy solid performance that included chart-topping hit “Heat Waves.” Next, Miami-born power EDM master Steve Aoki got the entire beach jumping up and down in unison while working the turntables that exploded his powerful beats.
As the day wore on, many attendees had endured the sun nearly the entire day, folk rockers The Lumineers slowed things down, providing a much-needed break for those who had been dancing non-stop allowing them to sit back and listen to the newly released tunes from their upcoming album Brightside. The night was not quite over, and those who remained and had recharged got a high-energy show from Twenty One Pilots, who closed out the evening and brought the crowd to life with a mix of old and new that included covers of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” and Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” before getting into fan-favorite sing-along tune “Trees” from their 2011 LP Vessel.
Day two brought cloudy skies with warm summer-like heat with steady beats from Cold War Kids, who delivered what fans of the California-based indie rockers came for. During their ten-song set, they got everyone jumping before closing out their set with “Hang Me Up to Dry” and “First.” Alternative rocker Yungblud kept things moving, taking the audience on a wild ride with a rapid-fire pace during his five-song set that included a cover of Machine Gun Kelly’s “I Think I’m OKAY.” There was no shortage of excitement when Bastille took the stage. The London based band got everyone jumping up and down during their entire seven-song set and closed out with 2013’s smash hit “Pompeii.”
Grammy Award-winner Lil Nas X came out in fashion along with a well-choreographed troupe of dancers and delighted the audience with his mega-hit “Old Town Road.” AJR served up an inspired set with hit song “Bang,” setting the pace for Sunday night’s headliner. Closing out Audacy on Sunday evening was Weezer, who sent everyone home with an extended 16-song set that included a ten-minute non-planned intermission due to a technical snafu. Weezer lived up to the hype as headliner, delivering a full-rock attack set that included nearly every one of the band’s biggest hits, including “Pork and Beans,” “Perfect Situation,” “Hash Pipe,” “Beverly Hills,” and “Africa” before getting into fan-favorite singalong tune “Buddy Holly” that closed out Audacy 2021.