Moonfest returns to Clematis Street in West Palm Beach on Saturday with its food trucks and drink stands and lasers and zombies and three stages of music led by Rev. Horton Heat, his twangy soul brother Gold Dust Lounge, Spred the Dub, the People Upstairs, Beat Thief Inc. (with Morgan Jay), Afrobeta and a dozen other acts. All good. Very good.
But as invigorating as it is, 20,000 people is 20,000 people (even if they’re all 21 and older). And zombies smell funny. So we are considering the VIP (or the RIP, as it is known). Here’s the math: Moonfest tickets are $7 advance, $10 at the gate; VIP is $50/$70. For $50 you get an open premium bar from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., which pretty much breaks you even if you have just one drink an hour for those five hours (not a lot for some people, and you know who you are). There’s also the premium buffet (8-midnight), the separate entrance, the proximity to the main stage and the lack of zombie sweat …
Speaking for the organizers, Lauren Fifarek says there will be a different vibe in the VIP.
“There will be seats and tables set up. It’ll be a nice place to relax,” Fifarek says. The buffet will have food from Longboard’s, Hullaballoo and more, she says. The bars (two) will have Tito’s tequila, which goes down pretty good. “It’s definitely worth it, especially in advance, for $50,” Fifarek says.
More info: Moonfest.org.
HEATING UP AGAIN
As if it were necessary, the Miami Heat will get fans psyched up for the new season’s three-peat chase (which begins Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls) with a free outdoor premiere screening of “Together We Rise” on Saturday night at New World Symphony’s Soundscape Park at New World Center on Miami Beach. The HEATV original documentary of the team’s 25th season, from the preseason visits to Beijing and Shanghai to the NBA Finals win over San Antonio, will be shown at 8 p.m. as a Wallcast on the 7,000-square-foot projection space at SoundScape Park (500 17th St.). Fans are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and snacks, and the Heat Dancers and Burnie will be on hand. Info: NBA.com/Heat.
LOOPING YOU IN
The Bus Loop is now selling early-bird tickets for two new events in November: You’ll pay $20 (that’s $15 off the day-of rate) on or before Nov. 15 for the inaugural Dog Rescue Bus Loop to nightspots in Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach on Nov. 22. The night benefits The 100+ Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades. The same rate applies when buying a ticket on or before Nov. 20 for the inaugural Fort Lauderdale Turkey Bus Loop on Nov. 27. Proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation, Jack & Jill Center, Covenant House Florida, Riverwalk Trust and the Broward County Gator Club Scholarship Fund. Get advance tickets and information at BusLoop.org.
GOURD OR GORED?
We have mixed feelings about pumpkin beer. Wait, no, not mixed feelings. It’s not our thing. But, maybe yours. On Tuesday at 7 p.m. a sharp crowd will gather at the Riverside Market (608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-358-8333) for a special edition of Pumpkin Beer Bingo to support the community education efforts of the nonprofit Broward Public Library Foundation. For the $10 cover you get a bingo card, $3 pumpkin craft beer, a raffle ticket and access to the pumpkin-carving contest — and what’s more fun than wielding a sharp knife after a few beers? Info: Facebook.com/BPLFoundation.
With $25,000 in cash and prizes on the table, you may wonder what it takes to win the annual Scary Rock Star Costume Contest, which returns to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at 9 on Friday night. As a judge last year (alas, otherwise engaged this year), I can say that the people you are trying to impress have discerning taste (even with the steady supply of drinks). Sexy doesn’t hurt, but smart and a flair for the in-character dramatic gets you the extra points. WSVN’s Shireen Sandoval, Ninalicia from Y100 and (my replacement) SouthFlorida.com’s Micaela Hood are a sharp audience — so your striped Robin Thicke-Beetlejuice get-up with the blow-up doll glued to your groin may get a laugh, but won’t put you over the top. To register for the contest, go to SeminoleParadise.com/ScaryRockStars or call 954-327-7625.
Speaking of zombies, we hear that Trent Reznor is closing the recent Nine Inch Nails concerts with “Hurt,” but is that now a Johnny Cash song? Tickets remain (including floor) for the NIN show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Tickets: $35.50-$ US $95.25 via Ticketmaster. Info: 954-835-7000, TheBBTCenter.com.
LAUDERDALE LIVE UPDATE
The lineups are final for the inaugural Lauderdale Live concerts Dec. 7-8 along the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with a few new names added to the bill this week, including pop troubadour Mat Kearney, American Idol winner Lee Dewize and Americana quintet Sons of Bill. Dec. 7 performances will be by Huey Lewis & the News, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Mat Kearney, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Lee DeWyze, Sons of Bill, Jillette Johnson and Andrew Ripp. On Dec. 8, it’s Lyle Lovett, the Indigo Girls, Shovels & Rope, Jason Isbell, the Wild Feathers and Holly Williams. Single-day tickets, weekend passes and VIP passes are on sale now, ranging from $79 to $379, at LauderdaleLiveMusic.com.
REBIRTH OF THE COOL
No matter how cool you are, it’s always good to have a reminder that you are a work in progress. If you are looking for a role model, consider Pauly Cohen. He played trumpet behind Sinatra and Basie, had drinks with Billie Holiday, and he continues to do what he loves, leading a band at the age of 91. Cohen will bring his jazz ensemble to the Sunrise Civic Center Theater on Saturday at 4 p.m., where they will perform a short set before a Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival screening of the documentary “Taking Charge: The Pauly Cohen Story.” We should all be so cool so long. Tickets: $10, $8 students/seniors. Info: 954-525-3456, FLIFF.com.
ELECT THE PUPPET!
With $20,000 on the table you need to make your vote count in the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award balloting that runs through Nov. 15. And not to be too parochial, but it’s hard to imagine a more deserving group than Jim Hammond’s Broward-based Puppet Network, which puts on the annual Day of the Dead parade, a community-celebrating processional that returns to downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. The Puppet Network proposal, which is competing with four Miami-based arts groups, would use the $20,000 grant to “engage more South Floridians in its Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, which includes a giant puppet parade, mask workshops and family-designed altars to loved ones.”
The Knight Foundation will be collecting votes via text message through Nov. 15 (to vote for the Puppet Network, text ARTS4 to 22333). The winner will be announced at a Dec. 2 gala at Miami’s Arsht Center. The other finalists, all well deserving, are: Indie Film Club Miami (text ARTS1); the nonprofit Mapou Cultural Center in Little Haiti (text ARTS2); The Motivational Edge, an arts, education and life-skills program (text ARTS3); and writer-actor-director Teo Castellanos D-Projects (text ARTS5).
Remember, last year, the Arts Garage in Delray Beach beat out four Miami-based organizations for the People’s Choice Award. More info: KnightFoundation.org.
Some weekend mood music comes via Hollywood indie-rockers Beach Day, whose cover of the 1960s spooky-twangy classic “Dracula’s Daughter” (originally by Screaming Lord Sutch) got some attention this week from Rolling Stone, which offered it as a free download. As Kimmy Drake told the magazine, “I wanted to record a Halloween song but didn't want to do something too obvious. Our drummer [Skyler Black] is mildly obsessed with horror garage music icon Screaming Lord Sutch, and when I found footage of Joe Meek and Sutch actually recording ‘Dracula's Daughter,’ we both became enthralled with the idea of covering the song.” Get the free download at Facebook.com/BeachDayBand.
Several thousand discounted early-bird tickets for the 2014 return of the Tortuga Music Festival went on sale last Friday (starting at $145) and by Monday they were gone. That’s an impressive referendum on something because event organizers have still not named a single act on the bill that will play Fort Lauderdale beach April 12-13. Last year’s lineup was led by Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and the Avett Brothers. Festival producer A.J. Niland of HUKA Entertainment promises another round of discount tickets: “We want to reward fans who buy early.” The first wave of performers will be named “as soon as we can … very likely before the end of the year.” Info: TortugaMusicFestival.com.