A three-day Labor Day weekend is on tap for the relief of those on the job, but for those musicians and performers appearing nearby the Big Sun, a heavy work schedule is ahead.
The fall holiday begins a day early — tonight, in fact — with the arrival of Elvis Costello in Gainesville. The bespectacled singer/songwriter, perhaps the strongest individual talent to emerge from rock's new wave, is slated for an O'Connell Center performance at 8 pm.
Appearing with Costello is his longtime backup band, The Attractions; with Talk Talk, the scheduled opening act. Tickets to the show are $9, reserved, and available in Ocala at Spinner Records and Tapes in the Chelsea Square.
Thursday also holds the arrival of Sheena Easton to St. Petersburg. The 8 p.m. show by the British songstress of the recent Bond flick, For Your Eyes Only, is slated for the Bayfront Center Theater. Tickets are $13.15 and $11.15, reserved, which includes a service charge.
The Labor Day weekend, though, officially takes off Friday with the opening of the Withlacoochee Backwater Bluegrass Music Festival. It's the 6th such event to be staged, at a location seven miles east of Inglis and six miles west of Dunnellon, on Highway 40.
As many as nine acts are to appear at the festival over its four-day run, with the bluegrass groups hailing from such far-off locales as North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia, as well as Tampa and Tallahassee. "Host" of the festival, where camping is available, is Orange Blossom Bluegrass of Tampa.
Ticket prices vary, with admission on Friday and Monday going for $7, and Saturday and Sunday prices tagged at $10 a day. Advance weekend tickets have been on sale for a while, though, and further information about all aspects of the festival is a phone call away, at 732-7343.
Meanwhile, continuing the more standard, one-night concert circuit nearby the Big Sun is Costello, who again is to take the stage with Talk Talk. This time the Brit's appearance is in Orlando. Tickets to the 8p.m. show at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre are selling for $10, reserved.
On Saturday, the major rock music event slated nearby for Labor Day is Rock Superbowl XV, one of those semi-annual rock "extravaganzas" which usually results in a jammed Orlando Tangerine Bowl. Appearing in this fall's version of the superbowl are Fleetwood Mac, John Cougar and Loverboy, with ex-Babys lead singer John Waite also recently added to the bill. Gates to the Saturday broiler open at 1 p.m., with the show slated for a 4 p.m. opening.
Tickets, available in Ocala at Spinner Records, are selling for $15.75 general admission, but promoters say $17.50 is the fee for day-of-show entry into the T-Bowl.
On Monday, the holiday winds down with Costello, The Attractions and Talk Talk sharing the stage in St. Petersburg at the Bayfront Center Arena. Tickets to their 8 p.m. show there are $8.50 in advance or $9.50, day of show, with 65 cents service charge added to the total.