What is Island Fever Showcase?   Island Fever Showcase is a music festival featuring Trop Rock music sponsored jointly by the Isle of Iowa Parrot Head Club & the Surf Ballroom & Museum that will be held over Labor Day weekend in 2018.  The event will feature musicians/bands that tour the country performing to fun-loving crowds at parrot head (Jimmy Buffett fans) functions.   Proceeds raised from the event will be donated to charity.  

Where & when will the event be held?  Island Fever Showcase will be held in Clear Lake, Iowa at the historic Surf Ballroom.  Clear Lake is located in north central Iowa approximately 90 minutes north of Des Moines and 2 hours south of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The event will be held over Labor Day weekend 2018.  The two main event days are scheduled for Saturday, September 1 & Sunday, September 2.  An all-star pre-party (the Gypsies in the Palace) will be held on Friday, August 31 and an additional special event is being planned for Monday, September 3 (early in the day).   

What makes this event so unique?  The Surf Ballroom is one of the most iconic stages in American music history.  Designated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a Rock & Roll Landmark the Surf was the final venue in which Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. ‘The Big Bopper’ Richardson performed.  The three rock & roll icons were killed in a tragic plane crash just outside of Clear Lake as they left enroute to their next tour performance.  The tragedy is widely referred to as “The Day the Music Died” and the Surf became “…the bedrock of where the sound and attitude of rock and roll changed forever.”  Trop rock music has never graced such an iconic & sacred stage. Musicians, fans & promoters of the genre all agree that this very well may be Trop Rock’s greatest moment!  

What is Trop Rock music?  Trop Rock music is a genre of music that incorporates elements and influences of rock & roll, reggae, country & Calypso music with Caribbean themes.  The music often creates an “island sound” that represents a laid-back way of life.  Jimmy Buffett is often referred to as the “king of Trop Rock” and other major label artists include Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, Jack Johnson & Bertie Higgins among others.  

So Jimmy Buffett will be performing?  Most likely not (though one never knows just where he might show up)! However, it is possible that members of Jimmy’s famous Coral Reefer Band will be part of the line-up as they often appear & perform at events such as this.  Independent singer/songwriters are the major force in Trop Rock music. The line-up will include some of the best acts in the genre.  They write, produce & perform their own original music. Many who will be included in the line-up have received numerous awards & recognition from the Trop Rock Music Association.  Regardless of who is on stage, you will likely hear a number of your favorite Buffett tunes!      

When will the entertainment line-up be released?  Musicians are being booked as you read this but, due in large part to contractual obligations of some of the artists (Hint! Hint!), the line-up will likely not be finalized until sometime this spring!  Entertainment announcements will begin in December & additional artists will continue to be announced well into the spring.  To receive all of the latest announcements, like (and follow) the Isle of Iowa Parrot Head Club on Facebook & visit the event website at islandfevershowcase.com.  

What does the detailed schedule look like?  When will each entertainer be performing?   A detailed schedule (with specific performance times) should be available by the first part of April.  There are two full days of entertainment scheduled for the Surf Ballroom – Saturday, September 1 & Sunday, September 2.  On each of these days, the entertainment schedule will begin at Noon (Surf doors open at 11:00 am) and will continue through Midnight.  Each performer will have a 90 to 120 minute set with approximately 30 minutes between each main set.  This is similar to the model that is used at Music on the Bay in Tampa.  There will be up to seven different performance slots each day.

Those are some full days!  Will there be food & beverages available on-site?    Yes!  No outside food or beverages are allowed into the venue.  The Surf Ballroom provides a full bar with very reasonable drink prices (according to Gerald Ptacek)!  There will also be options to purchase food right on-site at the Surf! If you wish to take a break, there are several local establishments’ right there in what is known as the Surf Music District that serve food & drinks.  All are easily walkable from the venue. The downtown district (with many more bars & restaurants) is just a few blocks away and is walkable as well. The bottom line – if you never want to leave the Surf during the event – you won’t have to, but if you prefer to step away for a bit there are lots of options!

What type of event tickets are available? Two types of tickets are currently available – VIP tickets and General Admission Two Day passes.  VIP tickets are extremely limited and include a reserved seat (at a table) on the actual ballroom floor right behind the dancing section.   In addition to your seat, you will also receive a special laminate event badge & a cool Bling Bag filled with a variety of treasure.  These tickets are $125 per person and are extremely limited in number.  We also have a few exclusive VIP Booths which are packaged with 4 VIP tickets, a reserved booth in a premium location and all of the other VIP perks.

Two-day General Admission tickets are also available (beginning December 15) for $90 per person.  They do not include any of the special “perks” that you get with the VIP ticket.  General Admission tickets do not guarantee seating (only entry).  You are able to purchase a booth upgrade (if available) through the Surf for an additional fee to ensure you will have a place to sit.    What is a booth upgrade you ask?  It’s an incredible bargain that comes with a BIG dose of nostalgia!  When you purchase your general admission tickets through the Surf (General Admission Tickets) you will get the option to add a booth upgrade for just $15 (up to a four person booth) or $20 (up to a six person booth).  Yes, you read that right just $15 or $20 depending on the size of the booth and that’s not a per person price, but a per booth price!  Do keep in mind that these are the original 1940’s wooden booths (that’s the nostalgia part) so they are a tad bit smaller than what we might be used to in the “super-sized” world of today!  

Additional ticket options (i.e. Single Day Passes, etc.) will only be sold (at a later date) if space permits.   

Are tickets refundable in the event that I can’t attend?   Unfortunately not, but the proceeds from your ticket purchase will be used to support the charitable cause of the event.    

What about parking at the venue and getting to & from the Surf?  Will there be any shuttle service provided?    There is parking available on-site at the Surf & street parking in the immediate area that surrounds the venue.  The parking at the Surf will not accommodate overnight RV parking so you will need to plan accordingly. The Clear Lake Chamber will have trolley service in operation at select times (beginning, middle & end) of each day.  The trolley will make stops at select hotels, downtown & in the Surf District. We will also be working with local transportation companies to provide on-demand service (for a small fee) when requested.   The bottom line – The Surf is a very short drive from all of the hotels & there is plenty of parking available (though you may want to consider a Designated Driver for your Designated Drinkers) & there will be some shuttle options available as well.

Where is the best place to fly into for this event?   While Clear Lake, Iowa is located right in the heartland of America and is drivable from many places, there are many airports that provide commercial air service within a relatively short drive.  The closest airports include Des Moines, Iowa (100 miles); Rochester, Minnesota (100 miles); Minneapolis-St. Paul (130 miles); & Cedar Rapids, Iowa (140 miles).   Many flight options are available at all of these airports.   

What are my options for lodging accommodations in the area?  There are many great hotels located in Clear Lake, Iowa, but they are not large properties.  We recommend that you make your lodging reservations ASAP. Several of the hotels in Clear Lake have established room blocks under Isle of Iowa/Island Fever.  These properties include Best Western Holiday Lodge;  Microtel Inn & Suites; South Shore Inn; & Rumorz Neighborhood Hideaway. Please refer to the hotels page on our event web site for more information about our partner hotels.  

There are also many additional hotel accommodations available in Mason City, Iowa (just a short 5 mile drive from the Surf Ballroom).  

Since Clear Lake is a well-known Iowa tourist destination, there are also many private residences that offer rentals through Vacation Rental by Owner or through Airbnb (Airbnb.com).

If you would prefer to camp, there are also many camping options available around Clear Lake.  These options include:    Clear Lake State Park; Oakwood RV Park; & McIntosh Woods State Park.  

Can you tell me more about the big Friday night bash – what’s up with that?  It’s going to be an epic Friday night pre-event celebration (titled Gypsies in the Palace)!  This celebration will include an exclusive party in City Park that will feature live music & a special food court (presented in partnership with the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce).  You can even bring your own coolers & lawn chairs into the park for this event (or buy your cold beverage at the VFW across the street & carry it over to the park)!  The park is located in the heart of the downtown district right on the shores of Clear Lake – a beautiful setting! In addition, several of the local establishments plan to host exclusive musical appearances by many of the musicians who will be performing at the Surf on Saturday & Sunday.  Best of all, these Friday night activities will be free!!! You definitely can’t say that the price isn’t right!

What is the charitable cause that the event is supporting?     Proceeds raised from the Island Fever Showcase will be directed to the North Iowa Cultural Center & Museum, a non-profit organization that is devoted to providing cultural & educational opportunities to people who reside in North Iowa.  As part of their mission, they provide programming to children from pre-school through 12th grade with an emphasis on music.  Funds from this event will to “keep the music alive” for future generations.    

I may not be able to attend in person but I still want to support this great event!  How can I get involved?   Island Fever Showcase represents an incredible opportunity for Trop Rock music and for the artists who are associated with the genre.  Even if you are not able to attend, there are many ways that you can support the event. Businesses and/or individuals who may have an interest in serving as an official event sponsor or purchasing an advertisement in the official event guide are encouraged to contact our sponsorship/advertising coordinator Gerald Ptacek at [email protected] or via phone/text at 319-551-9006.    

The Isle of Iowa is also coordinating both silent & live auctions at the event and is actively seeking donations to support these activities.   Businesses and/or individuals who have an interest in donating products, merchandise or other items to support these activities should contact our donation chair Steve Robe at [email protected] or via phone/text at 319-530-0004.   Proceeds from these activities will be directed to the charitable cause for the event.    

All donations are tax deductible.   

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