top of page

1st Annual Florida Cigar Box Festival and Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery

Summer Crush Winery, widely known for their unique venue and diverse music scene, is proud to announce the 1st Annual Florida Cigar Box Guitar Festival on February 3rd, 2018, 11 am to 5 pm. The day will include three of the nation’s premier Cigar Box acts: Steve Arvey, Ben Prestage and Hymn for Her, as well as Cigar Box instrument vendors and a free workshop with Steve Arvey.

Cigar Box instruments are made from old cigar boxes. The first trace of such instruments dates back to 1840 - 1860 when cigar manufacturers started using small boxes to ship cigars. In addition to guitars, cigar boxes were turned into a variety of stringed instruments including fiddles, mandolins, and basses (and their cousin the Diddly Bow) by handy folks who could not afford manufactured instruments. The cigar box guitar was integral in the rise of jug band music and, more notably, the blues. These instruments then became popular during the Great Depression, especially in the rural south where playing music on the front porch was a popular pastime during difficult times. During this time musical instruments were too expensive for most, but a guitar could be simply crafted with an old cigar box, a broom handle and a couple of wires.

While the introduction of cheaper, mass-produced instruments in later years made cigar box instruments obsolete, more recently there has been a revival of cigar box instruments known as the Great Guitar Box Revolution. This rebirth has resulted in a growing number of talented cigar box musicians, especially those wanting to play the Delta Blues in its purest form.

Cigar Box Festivals have become popular nationwide, notably in the Ozarks; Huntsville, Alabama; York, Pennsylvania; and Clarkdale, Mississippi. Now Summer Crush is proud to announce the Inaugural Florida Cigar Box Festival right here on the Treasure Coast.

The line up includes Steve Arvey, manager of the American Cigar Box Association, from Bradenton, Florida; Ben Prestage, from rural Florida; and Hymn for Her, a psychedelic blues duo.

Steve Arvey, an accomplished blues musician, has played the Crossroads Stage in Chicago and backed several Blues greats. He is also the director of the Florida Blues Festival in Bradenton. Steve will be leading a free afternoon workshop. There will be Cigar Box instrument vendors on hand, as well. Purchase your very own cigar Box instruments and get a lesson from one of the greats.

Florida legend Ben Prestage, who was taught the blues by his grandfather, a Mississippi sharecropper, will also perform. Prestage grew up in rural Florida and picked up the appreciation for the banjo from a winemaking and bluegrass playing neighbor. Prestage then moved to Memphis as a busker (street performer). Influenced by other buskers, Ben added drums and the Diddley Bow to attract attention and increase tips. His unique style and seemingly impossible talent have earned him three consecutive years of top-four finishes in the International Blues Challenge, two time champion of the Lyon/Pitchford Award for “Best Diddley-Bow Player,” and "The Most Unique Performer" at "The Songwriters' Showcase of America.”

Rounding out the day's talent is the "punksy, folksy, airstreamy, country, bluesy, grassy, dynamic duo" of Hymn for Her. The duo has been sharing their juiced-up, backwoods, country blues with a dose of desert rock psychedelia across the country and abroad for the past few years. Now they will bring their desert rock psychedelia, described as “Hell’s Angels meets the Amish,” to the Treasure Coast.

Steve Arvey will kick off the day off at 11 am and lead the workshop at 2:30 pm. The artists will perform throughout the day until 5 pm. D-Art Cigar Box Guitar Company will be selling instruments so don’t forget to purchase one before your workshop with Arvey!

Polito Catering will be selling delicious American and locally inspired cuisine and seafood favorites. And Summer Crush will have their popular beverage; handcrafted Florida wines, wine slushies, sangria, wine-based cocktails, and more than 25 local microbrews and beers available for purchase, as well.

General admission tickets are $9 through February 2nd, 2018. Tickets will be available at the door the day of the event for $10. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Little Birthday Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides birthday celebrations for homeless children living on the Treasure Coast.

The event will be held rain or shine on the Summer Crush large covered pavilion with roll down vinyl sides. If there is a dangerous thunderstorm the show may be delayed and resumed when the weather passes, but not canceled.

Summer Crush Winery is a certified Florida Farm Winery, handcrafting award-winning wines at 4200 Johnston Road in Fort Pierce, Florida. Open Tuesday through Friday, 11 am - 5 pm; Saturday, 11 am - 6 pm; and every Sunday music and food events are held 12 pm – 5 pm.


bottom of page