Bear Creek Bayou Music Festival debuts at Mardi Gras World_lowres


Florida cultural tourists (actual or ironic) need not cross state lines this weekend. As St. Claude art gallery The Front wraps its Sad Tropics exhibition, the Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival — a fixture at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, from 2007-2014 (last year's fest was canceled in June) — shoves off, way down upon another river. Reborn on the bayou, the two-day showcase addresses the change of venue in the simplest, most effective way possible: by adding The Meters' rhythm section. George Porter Jr. and Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste appear, separately and together, on a bill that reads like a Frenchmen Street team roll call. On lead guitar and vocals (and dancing caterpillars and human hamster balls), brothers-from-another-mother George Clinton and Wayne Coyne hold down the headlining spots, giving pass-holders two visionary shamans for the price of, well, at least two (general-admission packages start at $169). Both bring some recent boldface headlines: Clinton's Mothership crashed into the Smithsonian; and The Flaming Lips (pictured) have been on a festival rampage, crashing into tents across America like a lysergic Cloverfield (Middle Waves, Riot, Hellow and Wilderness, just in the past two months). Somehow they also found time to craft a paycheck-advance whiskey (Brainville Rye, MSRP $125) and a cubic-zirconium cover of "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds" (with accessories-before-the-fact Miley Cyrus and Moby). We'll call it a draw. Tickets $90-$500.