DJ on stage playing in front of a massive crowd at night, with a ferris wheel in the background

MP3 TAKES: BREAKAWAY Music Festival Entertains Tampa in Place of Sunset Music Festival

Introducing MP3 TAKES, our event review series where we dive deep into the exhilarating world of music festivals and live performances. In an era teeming with music events worldwide, our aim is to help you navigate through the noise and uncover the most captivating experiences. Join us on this adventure to highlight the backstage stories, memorable moments, and unique elements that make each event one-of-a-kind.

Nestled in a quaint corner of Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, Tampa’s iteration of BREAKAWAY Music Festival rippled through the fields of the Bay Area stadium. 

The two-day festival stopped along the Tampa route on April 26 and April 27 for a two-day, steamy celebration of the best names in the electronic music scene. 

According to Sunset Music Festival’s social media, the popular fest’s absence occured due to a rebranding and a rehoming of the multi-day music event. BREAKAWAY served as a substitute, entrancing guests during the final weekend of April this year.  


DJ ILLENIUM playing at BREAKAWAY festival in front of a massive crowd with blue lights and a ferris wheel in the background
ILLENIUM at BREAKAWAY. Photo courtesy of Kursza.

Sticking to electronic music roots (typical festival sets, or raves, run far into the early hours), the festival started at 5 p.m. and ran until midnight. Each headliner — ILLENIUM and Zedd — illuminated the sky with pyrotechnics and intricate light sequences. 

Between the two stages, attendees had the opportunity to vibe out at a silent disco stage featuring a centerfold disco ball and sprouts of moss hanging from the metal, makeshift ceiling. Local artists like Cody Chase, Alex Antle, and Bad Sandy showcased their skills at the silent disco stage. 


ILLENIUM playing BREAKAWAY festival on mainstage
ILLENIUM at BREAKAWAY. Photo courtesy of Kursza.

Although the festival bordered on the smaller scale of electronic fests, as opposed to EDC Las Vegas’ nine gargantuan stages, or EDC Orlando’s five-stage setup, the two-stage platform provided concert-goers with an intimate experience that is often hard to come by at larger-scale events. 

The main stage, a colossal platform with screens scaling either side and an enormous BREAKAWAY banner decorating the top slot, welcomed names like Rossy, Ravenscoon, and Kaskade on the first day. 

These artists ramped up the antics until Illenium shattered expectations with a mind-melting future bass and dubstep light show. 

On Saturday, popular names like It’s Murph and Troyboi entertained an enthusiastic crowd prior to one of my favorite duos in the industry, Sofi Tukker (who we interviewed for installment two of MP3 MAG last year). 

The duo interspersed their house-laden tracks with Sophie Harley-Weid’s haunting vocals. Zedd closed out the main stage with a spectacular pyrotechnic display matched to one of his biggest numbers: “Clarity” feat. Foxes. 

The Launchpad Stage

In a mossier, shadier side of the stadium field, the second stage, The Launch Pad, transported guests to a new world. 

Covered by a purply-blue tarp, The Launch Pad stage hosted vibrant talent like Pushman, Night Tales, Matroda, Moore Kismet, Crankdat, and Planet SuperSonic’s own ALLEYCVT, our April WAV artist of the month selection

ALLEYCVT shuttled the crowd to her unique creation: a beautiful, cosmic space permitting coexistence and acceptance through her distinctive dubstep sound. 

READ: WAV Artist of the Month – ALLEYCVT


Group of people having fun and dancing at BREAKAWAY festival.
Photo shot by Yvonnegphotos.

The cutesy setup of the Tampa BREAKAWAY iteration encouraged festival goers to do exactly that: break away from their routine lives, “leaving it all behind” at the dance music scene. 

The marketplace strip of the double-staged fest welcomed visitors to shop around for pashminas, drippy sunglasses, and festival-enhancing substances, while a pop-up mushroom shop urged people to visit the magic mushroom store, finding selections of psychedelics. 

On the other side of the magic mushroom market, a stand stood THC-infused products for those looking for a mellow vibe. 


With any larger scale event, actually anything in general, people will air their complaints online. 

For BREAKAWAY, some fans mentioned the bleed over of sound between stages since the setups were a bit closer together than other larger festivals with spread-out stages. Another complaint touched on crowds gathering at security for ample amounts of time, standing outside of the gates for a bit. 

Though this fallback shifted few festival-goers’ opinions, making them believe the fest overbooked itself, the space inside the festival remained roomier than other wide-reaching festivals.  

What BREAKAWAY means for Tampa

Besides honoring local talent through the silent disco, BREAKAWAY filled the void left by Sunset Music Festival’s absence. MP3 MAG spoke with Pushman, a resident DJ at The Ritz Ybor, about why BREAKAWAY Music Festival matters to the Tampa Bay community amid the burgeoning electronic music crowd in this area. 

“It was really cool just to have a festival here in Tampa, in general, after Sunset’s been here for ten-plus years, and unfortunately wasn’t able to happen this year. It’s really cool that everybody involved in the scene in Tampa and still had something to look forward to at least before the rest of the festivals kick off elsewhere,” Pushman said.