Seven things you need to know before you go…
Two weeks from today, a few thousand people will descend upon Key West for one of the best vacations imaginable. For first-timers and veterans alike, these seven tips will enhance your Mile 0 Fest experience as you prepare for four-plus days of the best in Red Dirt and Americana music.
1. “It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint.”
This is saying many will hear prior to arriving on the island and during the first few days of festival – in particular at Tuesday night’s Duval Street Party. As cliche as it may sound, it is sage advice. Yes, you’re on vacation but this isn’t simply a one-night affair. Shows begin daily at 11:00am and last until 2:00am – that’s 14 solid hours of music for four consecutive days – plan accordingly.
2. Wear Comfortable Shoes
It’s likely a majority of people heading to the southernmost point of the continental United States are coming from cooler climates. With late January temperatures averaging between 71 and 77 degrees, flip flops are appropriate but if you’re not fully prepared to walk a considerable amount in them then consider something a little more practical.
3. Use the Mile 0 Fest App
You’ll want to make use of this important festival perk routinely ahead of time, while on the island and following each show. From being able to plan your own personal schedule to receiving push notifications about updates or changes, there is so much useful information available at your fingertips. Maps, frequently asked questions, a new photo challenge and more already appear on the main menu, in addition to a new ability for offering reviews and feedback directly to the festival from every performance.
4. It’s 5:00 Somewhere
The Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheater shows begin at 5:00pm ET but that doesn’t mean it’s where you should start. Each day there are events beginning at 11:00am ET and it’s here where you can meet new friends, find new artists, and make some of the best memories during the week. Go support these individuals and the variety of different venues associated with Mile 0 Fest across the island.
5. Consider the Environment
Key West is roughly four miles long and just one mile wide at the end of the Florida Keys. As a place dependent on natural resources and tourism, ensuring the sustainability of both becomes the responsibility of everyone who resides on the island. For this reason, expect paper straws and limited single-use plastics. Reusable water bottles are recommended and many venues also offer a discount on beer when using a provided cup of the same nature.
6. Charitable Causes
There’s an abundance of music and good times all across the island but don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a difference while you’re in attendance. Mile 0 Fest is committed to giving back and there are multiple opportunities to contribute to the Red Dirt Relief Fund, Michelle Halpern Foundation and Bahama Village Music Program through the festival sponsored Fishing Derby and signed guitar auctions.
7. Take It All In
From maritime museums to botanical gardens and Ernest Hemingway to Harry S. Truman, there is plenty to see on the island. Best suited for a few extra days before or after the festival, there are plenty of tourist opportunities to ensure you get the full experience of Key West. Mallory Square is known for street performances and sunset celebrations but the amphitheater also offers wonderful late day views from its grassy knoll along the back of the venue if you don’t want to miss any music.
It’s a vacation, trip, festival, etc. unlike any other but it’s also important to remember that it’s the people of Key West and those in attendance, working and responsible for putting on the event – who make it extremely special. A boutique festival with another incredibly talented lineup ensures all of the music heard throughout the week will be spectacular, so have fun, meet new people, take care of your bar tenders and enjoy one of the best times you’ll have all year – guaranteed.