The First Annual “Mad Beach Boat Stock” Floats to Success

By on May 17, 2020
Johnny Mile and the Kilometers (Photo-Travis Failey)

What could arguably be the first outdoor concert in Florida since the shutdown took place in Saint Petersburg on Saturday afternoon. The Madeira Beach Boat Stock event went off smoothly from our viewpoint and based on the fans’ reactions in attendance, it was a welcomed event and a rousing success.  The event was free to anyone with a venmo account, which was created to collect donations to assist with the event’s costs and tips for the bands.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

The idea to throw a concert on a barge in the Gulf of Mexico where only swimmers, people on boats or jet skis could attend was thought up by Bob Burnett. Barnett wanted to throw a party that kept everyone socially distant but still had the feel of going to a rock show.  Barnett discussed the idea with Dustin Howard who works at the Saltwater Hippie Bar in Madiera Beach and then they start enlisting local bands to the water fest and worked out the logistics.

After jumping through a bunch of hoops to get into the right location, the team decided on what the locals consider a boat graveyard behind the Bay Pines VA.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

As we pulled up on the boat, there were dozens of vessels in the water surrounding the makeshift stage, which was a barge tied up to a much larger boat, the Barefoot Wanderer.  Kayaks, paddleboards, and jet skies were everywhere, while many others took to the water on flotation devices or just swam in the gulf waters.

The three bands that the bill were FayRoy, Power Trio Johnny Mile and the Kilometers, and Kenny Mullins of Resinated.  All three of the bands can be found on Apple Music and/or Spotify.

The afternoon’s lineup included DJ Rollin, who did a nice job of mixing in the 70s, 80s, and 90s dance-groove-rock hits while the bands did their changeover.  People were dancing on their boat decks as Dee-Lite’s “Groove Is in The Heart” boomed out the small, but effective, p.a. system.

Kenny Mullins (Photo-Travis Failey)

Kenny Mullins’ reggae based set lasted an impressive 40 minutes and set the floating stage for Johnny Mile and the Kilometers.   The trio consists of Chris Cardon on Bass, Gino Capone on Guitar & Lead Vocals, and Tyler Stoelting on Drums. 

(Photo-Travis Failey)

Johnny Mile and the Kilometers’ set was full of high energy sounds reminiscent of the 60s, 70s retro rock with punk mixed in that just grabs your auditory attention and keeps you reeled in.  I was very impressed with these guys, especially Chris Cardon, who is a magician on the bass.  

The band is also reminiscent of rockabilly with Elvis mixed in and spun with surf rock. These guys make music in a blender that makes your body move. 

They have the “IT” factor and with the trends in rock before the pandemic moving towards bands like Joyous Wolf, The Black Moods, and the Rival Sons, these guys could move up the ladder if things fall into place.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

As Johnny Mile and the Kilometers were sailing through their set with guitarist Gino Capone screaming on guitar, the boat graveyard was now filled up with boats all under the ten-person capacity.  Many flew their Bucs and U.S. flags and there were also a few flying flags in support of the President. A quote I heard was “These are Trump’s people.”   Thankfully though, the day wasn’t about anything partisan, just an opportunity to once again listen to live music in a beautiful setting.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

The guys stated that “it was the most fun they had in a while and it reminded everyone why Florida is such a special place.”

As FayRoy was getting ready to start its set, a large group of people swam near the makeshift stage with most following the social distancing rules while in the water.  A floating tiki showed up at the event as did a drone while people, drank, sunbathed or even did yoga on their boat.

FayRay mixed in a set of covers and originals and dropped the tempo down just a bit and mellowed the pace that fit perfectly with the soul of the day. A lot of the boaters never heard any of these bands, including myself, but all three made new fans today.  The songs I heard live today and what I’m listening to as I write this, are damn good.  

FayRoy (Photo-Travis Failey)

All of the bands gave their best efforts on a day in 2020 that we never saw coming while doing it on a stage that didn’t seem possible. Gas generators powered amps, guitars, and p.a. equipment, as the waves rocked the stage.  It truly was a sight to see. The local authorities (The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department) kept an eye on everything from the air and sea.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

Helicopters flew around a few times while their patrol boats remained in everyone’s view. Thankfully we didn’t see any issues involving anyone and it was a day of sunshine, music, and peaceful assembly.

With the success of the First Annual Mad Beach Boat Stock, hopefully, other communities will put more of these types of events together. With live concerts also coming to drive-in movie theatres and sports facility parking lots, the unusual just may become the new norm, and on this day in May of 2020, the new norm was just what some of us needed.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

To make donations please use Venmo @Boatstock

Band Info:


Johnny Mile and the Kilometers:

Kenny Mullins:

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