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"We hope you come early and stay late to enjoy all this area has to offer!"

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The Forgotten Music Festival is produced by Joe and Sara Whitmer. The festival was devised from over ten years of vacationing on the Gulf of Mexico. Once we arrived to Florida's Forgotten Coast, we knew we had found the right place. It was easy to fall in love with the people and atmosphere of this unique area. No skyscrapers or stop lights set the pace for a relaxing stay in paradise. From the pristine beaches to miles of bicycle and hiking trails and clear water of the gulf, there is always something to do.

Born and raised in Milano Italy, Sara Negri-Whitmer was introduced to American roots music by her father, Tony. He and two of his siblings had immigrated to the United States over the years. Once her father started making regular visits back to Italy while assisting Italian festivals with roots musicians from southern United States, she became hooked on the sound and the people.  It wasn’t long before she decided to call Memphis her home. Once in Memphis, Sara attended, volunteered and otherwise supported music events across the US. 

Joe Whitmer has been working in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. Joe has produced national and international critically acclaimed events that have showcased performances from many different musical genres. From planning to execution, providing a safe and secure environment for the fans and ensuring the artists have the necessary tools to deliver the best entertainment experience possible are the top priorities.

Some of his career highlights include:

  • Event Producer of The International Blues Challenge – from 2000 to current.  Annual international competition held in Memphis, Tennessee which showcases over 260 acts from around the world competing in 21 venues for 5 days on historic Beale Street.

  • Producer of the Blues Music Awards – from 2000 to current. Annual event that is held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis Tennessee. This event is considered the “Grammys of the Blues”. It is a 7 hour show with sit down dinner. The show includes over 25 performances from nominated artists. An abbreviated program is produced for a PBS broadcast

Joe can also be found offering assistance to other local non-profits and community action fundraisers, such as Blues on Reid and Florida Scallop, Music & Arts Festival, held in Port St. Joe, Florida.

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