Although New Orleans and Mobile have laid their rightful claim to fame with the Mardi Gras season, the third annual Pardi Gras electronic music micro-festival is out to show that Pensacola has plenty of culture to go around.
“A lot of people don’t realize how many talented, self-made people there are in the area. I want this event to be a way for people to learn that and connect with like-minded Pensacolians,” show producer Shaun Holifield said of his event. “We’ve moved to a larger location at the downtown American Legion so that we can accommodate more of the artists, vendors, and dancers that are the lifeblood of this town.”
Twin brothers Charles (Sir Charles) and Zach Weinert (Greenhouse Lounge, Zak the Blak) headline the music with their joint project by the name of Monozygotik. Growing up with a choir and violin background and a household that funneled music from Prince to Dean Martin through its speakers, they were bound to pursue music in some way.
“My parents loved funk and disco when we were kids, so needless to say, we jammed in the house,” Charles said.
Monozygotik’s sound runs the electronic gamut from Southern hip hop-infused trap music to the futuristic experimental beats that are beginning to make waves throughout the community. On how different styles come from two people with such similar backgrounds, Charles claims there’s enough uniqueness to them in the long run. “It’s like comparing Granny Smith and red apples,” he said. “It’s the same general goodness, but with a bit different taste.”
Atlanta-based future and glitch-hop D.J. Satoru will be supporting Monozygotik, along with locals Pensacobra, Mindflo, and Grateful Funk.
Joining the D.J.s on stage will be local hula hooper Meghan Kellinson. Her jazz, tap, ballet, and theater background comes through in her free-flowing performances. Her main goal at these events is to supplement the music in an artful way.
“When I get a chance to perform I try to bring a dance art form that some may be unfamiliar with. I like to add a touch of class and artistic elegance through joyous kinetic movement,” Kellinson said.
She also sees hooping as a way to connect with the local community. “Hoops are really something of a conversation starter. They have allowed me to connect with people I otherwise might not have. I once even traded a hula hoop for an organic chicken from a farmer friend.” She’s an obvious fit for the event.
Along with that visual stimulation, live painting and drawing will be done by local artists Austin Garcia, Chris Loriz, Scott Bond, and David Trippe. What Garcia likes most of the experience is having people see the entire creation process from start to finish.
“The people motivate me to keep on painting. I get as anxious and excited as they do to see the finished piece,” he said.
Custom is the name of the game when it comes to the boutique vendors that will be on-site. Jamie Hullenbaugh of Blu Magpie Design will have her self-proclaimed “hippie bling” available. She’s found that events like these have helped get her name out in the area, and she’s got some special plans for Mardi Gras-themed jewelry.
“I am going to have a lot more brightly colored, blingy feather type items for everyone,” she said. “I also like making sure my jewelry and other crafted items are priced so that anyone attending an event can go home with something.”
Another local vendor on tap is Trace Reddick of MetaSpace Designs. The company’s mission is to help give people a legal way to make money at shows while on the road following their favorite bands.
“MetaSpace really picked up steam in early 2010. I noticed I had a knack for some artistic designs when I sold 50 patches I designed at a STS9 show in Boston in 2009 and people kept asking for more,” the self-proclaimed millennial entrepreneur said of the company’s origins.
Although the majority of Reddick’s business is steeped in the one of-a-kind hatpins that have swept the music world in the last few years, he also does custom lapel pins for area businesses.
What festival would be worth its weight without a bit of food? Pensacola Beach’s own Dog House Deli will be catering the event, complete with specially curated Mardi Gras themed dogs. It’s an opportunity to showcase some new flavors and spread the word about the catering part of their restaurant.