The Psychedelic Florida Festival You Need To Add to Your Bucket List
Once a year, this pristine panhandle resort town transforms into a rainbow-splashed fairy tale.
The first thing you’ll notice when you visit the quaint town of Alys Beach, along Florida’s route 30A, are the colors—namely, the verdant green palms and piercing aqua seas that punctuate a backdrop that’s, primarily, strikingly white.
Influenced by the design styles of Bermuda and the Caribbean, Alys Beach’s hallmark is its distinctive swan-white stucco architecture. And while nature is usually the paintbrush that colors this breezy island-inspired canvas, visit during the upscale panhandle town’s unique arts festival, and you’ll find a whole different kaleidoscope of colors.
Held every year in May, the Digital Graffiti festival is a one-of-a-kind projection arts show featuring designers and animators from around the globe. During the two-day nighttime event, festivalgoers can stroll the usually white-washed streets to find a psychedelic display of neon hues splashing the town’s iconic stucco structures.
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From geometric sound-and-light shows to creative videos and animations, the works transform the typically quiet beach town into one of the world’s most unique and exclusive art galleries. Some displays are interactive, inviting guests to manipulate the projections with sound and movement, while others are animations designed to make a statement about issues such as climate change.
To catch a glimpse of the fleeting masterpieces, visitors can purchase tickets to one of two post-sunset parties from May 17 – 18, the first being a family-friendly occasion with food trucks and a self-guided tour and the latter an all-inclusive experience featuring food, wine, cocktail tastings, and an intimate poolside discussion of the digital arts.
Sound like your kind of eye candy? Visitors can tour the vibrant displays for $50 (purchase by April 30) or indulge in the art (plus food and drink) connoisseur’s special for $150.