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Music festival coming to Shell Factory

By Staff | Dec 30, 2015

It promises to be the first big musical event of 2016 when The Shell Factory hosts the first Fort Myers Music Fest Winter Fest on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 4 to 10 p.m.

The concert under the stars will benefit the Arts Miracle Alliance of SWFL, a non-profit charity that helps support local artists and musicians in need, locally and worldwide, especially when catastrophic events, such as illness, occur.

Master of ceremonies, emcee, and comedian, Brian Corrion will preside over the event that will feature Southern rock, blues and other types of music. There also will be food and beverages inside the event area, which will be in the inside parking lot.

Jimmy Palone, executive director of the alliance, said musicians are always doing events for other charities, but not for the musicians themselves. The inspiration came from Cox, who plays for the Kapo Kings and who needed a kidney transplant, but couldn’t get it until he had $50,000 in the bank.

“He had to wait two years, hold benefit after benefit, and he had to go on dialysis in between which made him go further in the hole,” Palone said. “Those are things that happen and we’d like to have a fund available so we can pay at least part of it.”

For the Shell Factory, it’s the first big event of 2016, with Gumbo Fest coming on Jan. 31. This event is a little bit different from past ones. It will be an evening outdoor event, something they have not held.

Rick Tupper, CFO and marketing director at the Shell Factory, said it should be a lot of fun trying it and that it should help continue to increase business with the new year.

“We can use the parking lot and it creates a win/win situation for us and the alliance,” Tupper said. “If this goes well, we’ll have other events like this here. So, this is kind of a rehearsal.”

Tupper said as it’s a charity, there should be a built-in audience, as many people are familiar with the bands.

Palone said this is a first for his organization, and that he would like to turn this into a monthly event, for the Shell Factory and other smaller venues.

Tickets went on sale Nov. 21, just a week after the alliance’s website went online. Gates open at 3 p.m. General admission seating is $25, but until Jan. 3 if you buy three tickets online, you get the fourth free.

For more information, go to www.fortmyersmusicfest.com.