To Foo or not to Foo? That… is the question.
Well, if you’re not Foo’ing, you should be. If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy vacation filled with art, culture and coastal cuisine surrounded by pristine natural beauty in one of the most historic cities in the country… then you need to come foo with us at Pensacola’s annual Foo Foo Festival in early November.
But why Foo?
If you haven’t already noticed, Pensacola is quickly becoming the Culture Capital of the Southeast and is highly regarded on the national arts stage as a must-see destination for thought-provoking cultural happenings year-round. “Foo Foo Fest,” the grand dame of Pensacola’s thriving cultural community, is our celebration of all things arts and it arrives October 31 – November 11 for its 6th annual appearance.
The much-anticipated festival, one of the largest in the Southeast, spans an impressive 12 days and features innovative and extraordinary artists from all genres including art, music, dance, theatre and more.
Strategically positioned during some of Pensacola’s other popular events, Foo Foo Fest straddles longstanding local favorite happenings including the annual Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Pensacola Eggfest and the annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.
This year’s Foo Foo Fest line up runs the gamut: From internationally-acclaimed classical piano virtuoso Garrick Ohlsson; to renowned jazz band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy; to Multi-Grammy nominated musician Marsha Ambrosius; to a performance of “The Savannah Sipping Society,” a new play by The Golden Girls writers; to an art installation entitled “Fire and Rain,” a sea of billowing holographic strands suspended above historic Intendencia Street.
In addition, festival-goers can also enjoy celebrity guest appearances by American street skater Rodney Mullen, rapper and DJ Mannie Fresh, the world-famous Boston Brass, journalist and author Eleanor Randolph, and Blues drummer Jimmi Mayes.
Other Foo Foo event highlights include:
- 3DPrintsacola – Pensacola’s Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and the First City Arts Center (FCAC) worked collaboratively to create 3D-printed, skateable concrete called “Skulptures.” Designed by David Fries, FCAC’s creative scientist in residence, and Rodney Mullen, the ‘Godfather of modern street skating’ from Redondo Beach, Calif., the “Skulptures” are embedded with augmented reality — an interactive experience where the skateable objects translate human engagement in real-time. 3D Printsacola will feature these 3D printed “Skulptures” with an amazing skating demonstration by Mullen on Friday, Nov. 1.
- StompFest 2019 - StompFest will kick off the first weekend of Foo Foo Fest on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Pensacola Bay Center. The mission of StompFest is to immerse the Gulf Coast in contemporary African-American art, dancing, and stepping, blended with a mix of spoken word, live music, and visual artistry, while showcasing the influence this rich culture has on Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLO). Multi-Grammy nominated musician Marsha Ambrosius will headline the event along with rapper and DJ Mannie Fresh and event host Haha Davis.
- Choir! Choir! Choir! – created by Toronto-based musicians Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman, Choir! Choir! Choir! is equal parts singing, comedy, and community-building. Whoever shows up performs, but no auditions are necessary. Just come to the Rex Theatre on November 6, trade your ticket for a lyric sheet, join a group of highs, mids or lows, and master an arrangement of an awesome song. The ultimate group production.
- Fire and Rain - A suspended sea of billowing holographic strands ripples high over historic Intendencia Street like a quilt of sparkling diamonds. Curving up, dipping down and winding around, then skipping across Palafox street to the towering stone columns of Artel Gallery, this immersive experience casts moving shadows over pedestrians who pass underneath. The abstract art sculpture, hand-made from Mylar and monofilament, stretches 9,500-square-feet and rises and falls like a shimmering ocean in the sky, controlled by the breeze. High in the air, it shape-shifts, rewarding visitors round the clock throughout the entire 12-day Foo Foo Fest with a live public art show of forms, reflective colors and breathtaking, rolling waves.
Have you decided to come Foo with us yet? Sure, Pensacola’s pristine sugar-white beaches and emerald green waters may entice visitors from all over the world. But upon arrival, many find themselves equally captivated by our history, culture, arts and diverse heritage. Pensacola is the only city on the stretch of Gulf Coast from Mobile, Ala. to Tampa, Fla. that boasts having the “big five” – an opera, ballet, symphony, theatre and museum. From the inspiration of dance to compelling visual arts to the philharmonic strains of a symphonic orchestra, all events are staged with the backdrop of relaxed elegance, unique to our city on the coast. Visitors can stroll along the bay, experience the culinary arts scene and take in historic sites while simultaneously enjoying the beauty and creativity of fine arts.
We invite you to Foo with us, and Vacation Artfully in Pensacola!
For more information about Foo Foo Fest and a list of events, visit: www.foofoofest.com.