In 1559, Spanish conquistador Tristán De Luna y Arellano and his shipmates landed on what is now know as Pensacola, and they celebrated their arrival with an enormous beach party. This tradition lives on with the perfect beach party: DeLuna Fest.
The second annual DeLuna Fest will be held from Friday through Sunday on Pensacola Beach and will feature a lineup of more than 70 bands, including Jane's Addiction, Weezer, The Shins, Girl Talk, Cut Copy, Diplo, Big Boi, Matt and Kim, Ra Ra Riot, Cold War Kids, The New Pornographers, The War on Drugs, The Limousines and Wanda Jackson.
Gregg Michael Gillis, otherwise known as Girl Talk, creates experimental electronic music mash-ups, or as he likes to describe it, "digitally mangled pop music," and will take the stage Friday.
Gillis, a biomedical engineer turned experimental music sensation, is a true nerd. He Saran-wraps his laptop before each of his wild performances.
"I always have people on stage at shows; that kind of developed as the etiquette of the shows. About five or six years ago, I started to break computers on a regular basis from people standing on the table and a high heel going through the laptop or sweat or blood or beer or alcohol or whatever flying around. It was very chaotic and messy, so I started covering [my] computer to protect it from any fluids flying around," Gillis said.
When asked if he had anything special planned for DeLuna, Gillis said:
"Every show to me is unique. The people (who) are there will govern what the surprise will be."
So, DeLuna attendees, get ready to get wild with the coolest ex-engineer in the music business.
On the other end of the musical spectrum, The War on Drugs will perform Saturday.
"It's kinda psych and kinda classic, like running classic rock radio through a lot of psychedelic effects," The War on Drugs bassist and guitarist Dave Hartley said of the band's sound.
Hartley also weighed the differences between performing at festivals versus small club shows.
"The advantage of a festival is that you are playing for people who didn't come to see you, by definition some people did but probably at least half didn't. It's a totally different thing. It's a little bit tougher of a crowd, but I think it's better," he said.
Matt and Kim will bring even more genre variety to the festival with its performance Friday.
"We're not exactly in a single genre; we are sort of a energetic, dance-y, fun kind of music," said vocalist and keyboardist Matt Johnson.
"I remember we played this one festival in Coney Island; during the last song I egged the audience to follow me into the ocean, and after the last song finished, we jumped off the stage and started running to the ocean with a huge crowd of people behind us. Maybe we'll have to pull something like that out again," Johnson said about plans for DeLuna.
Guests can either choose to attend single days or all three days of the festival. A single day pass costs $75 while a three-day general admission pass costs $189.95 or $215 if purchased on the day of the show.
However, students were offered a bit of a sweeter deal just weeks ago. On Sep. 22, DeLuna representatives hit UF's campus, giving away free DeLuna swag and offering students three-day passes at the discounted rate of $105.
"We did this because of what our lineup is. We want to get young people interested, and we want them to stay and attend the festival for years to come. Plus it's hard to be a student these days," said AshleeAnne Palmer, DeLuna VIP hotel coordinator and local event organizer.
Palmer and her team, consisting of local Florida radio stations, visited Florida State University, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida with this deal as well.
"UF stuck out to us because we had so many people asking us to come out here. It has been really successful; people who didn't know about the concert get really, really excited once we tell them about the lineup. I just love that," Palmer said.
To view the complete list of killer performers, for more information or to purchase tickets, visit delunafest.com.