Shakey Graves headlines music & arts festival Dec. 1-4

Americana musician Shakey Graves of Austin, Texas headlines this year’s Coast is Clear Music & Arts Festival Dec. 1-4. MAGEN BUSE/Contributed

While the fifth annual COAST Is Clear Music & Arts Festival — a locally-produced, hurricane-season-ending cultural celebration — is still six months out, the hype for the event has just made landfall as Keys locals batten down the hatches and face the stormy summer season ahead. 

Locals also can beat the online masses when it comes to ticket sales for the event. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, for one day only, local residents can buy early-bird tickets in person at The COAST Outpost, 803 Whitehead St.

The December festival’s weekend-long program builds on last year’s major success at Fort East Martello, with four days and nights of music at iconic venues across the island, featuring acclaimed bands in the Americana and indie folk rock scene.

Shakey Graves of Austin, Texas — a top-of-bill mainstay at major festivals from coast to coast — headlines the lineup with help from the New Orleans-based musical institution Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as well as Hiss Golden Messenger, Fruit Bats, Grammy-nominated folk trio Bonny Light Horseman, festival veteran Langhorne Slim, Americana up-and-comers Neal Francis and Katie Pruitt and more.

“With the caliber of bands that we somehow managed to land this year, coupled with the excitement and attention we’ve received since last year’s big success, I’ve been a little nervous that locals — who tend to buy tickets late — might miss the boat completely this year,” said festival founder Billy Kearins of Coast Projects. “So we decided to offer the old throwback retail model of waiting in line for tickets to ensure our local fans will be in attendance come showtime. We then took the extra step of offering the passes at a discounted price to further reinforce our commitment to this being a locally produced, supported and attended event.”

This year’s celebration kicks off on Thursday, Dec. 1 with intimate, ticketed events that night and Friday at yet-to-be disclosed venues in Old Town. Saturday and Sunday’s sets will take place primarily at the Parade Grounds at Fort East Martello with late-night encores at downtown locales.

Saturday’s Locals-Only Ticket Pre-Sale at COAST on Whitehead Street will offer a variety of festival pass packages at discounted prices for those who show up in person to purchase. There is a cap on the number of tickets that can be sold at this price, so arriving early is encouraged. The ticket booth will open promptly at 10 a.m.

For full details on the festival, including artist profiles, footage from last year, ticket package details, sponsorship opportunities,and more, visit and stay tuned on Instagram @coastisclearfest.

The COAST Is Clear Music & Arts Festival was founded in 2017 by Coast Projects to celebrate the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season through art and music. It is still produced locally in Key West through a partnership with Key West Art & Historical Society. All ticket purchases directly support KWAHS and other partnering local charities.

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