The Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival at the Hard Rock Cafe rocked the month of June with performances by Michelle Branch, Bret Michaels and 70 Tampa Bay area musicians. It all came to a close Tuesday night at the official Wrap Party where all of the local bands came together to celebrate and jam one last time.

The Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival was created to develop and showcase upcoming artists in Tampa Bay.  Sponsored by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Hard Rock Energy, Big 3 Records and Dean Guitars it began on June 1st with an incredible performance by Michelle Branch in the Hard Rock Cafe.

Following the kickoff, local artists filled the Hard Rock Cafe with acoustic grooves every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.  To celebrate the halfway point of the Festival and the Hard Rock's 44th Birthday, Bret Michaels packed the Hard Rock Cafe for a special up close and personal "all acoustic" show: 

But the festival was really about the local artists and with 70 bands performing, there was no shortage of fantastic music!  We saw a true variety of musicians and instruments: from 15 year olds jammin in bands to keyboards mixed with comedy to veteran musicians rockin the stage; from acoustic to classical guitars, cajon, stand up bass, violin, mandolin, harmonica to kazoo, we saw a little bit of it all from this talented group of local musicians.

In the end, 5 bands were chosen as Hard Rock Cafe Brand Ambassadors and 5 were chosen as Hard Rock Energy Brand Ambassadors.

Congrats to the Hard Rock Cafe Brand Ambassadors: Stonegrey, The Cruz Brothers, Ben Pila, Joey Mazzant and Jeffrey Brockman.


The Cruz Brothers:

Ben Pila:

Joey Mazzant:

Jeffrey Brockman

​Congrats to the Hard Rock Energy Brand Ambassadors: Ian Doubt, The Real Clash, Natalie Claro, Janani and the Micah Shane Band.

Ian Doubt:

The Real Clash:

Natalie Claro:


Micah Shane Band:

Everyone walked away a winner in this competition though. Each band that participated in the festival received an awesome Hard Rock bag filled with goodies including a special Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival Pin, a Hard Rock Classic Tee, a case of Hard Rock Energy and, best of all, a Dean Guitar! 

Thank you to all of the bands who came out and put their heart and soul into their performances! The music during this festival was absolutely phenomenal and whether you're new to the stage or a veteran musician, each and every one of you should be proud of what you accomplished!

And, of course, a huge thank you to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, the Hard Rock Cafe, Hard Rock Energy, 98 Rock, Big 3 Records, Dean Guitars, and all of the staff who worked tirelessly to make the Tampa Bay Acoustic Music Festival a success!  

See you next year!