First he recruited Phil Benito and Jeff Hunt. Ten volunteers later, the Gasparilla Music Festival board was complete.
Benito, who has experience booking shows for local vendors like Skipper's Smokehouse and Crowbar, booked bands for the festival.
"We had a dream list, a wish list, and then the actual list," said Jamie Zinober, a GMF board member.
The lineup for the day included 20 bands plus children's programming. Many were local, like Have Gun Will Travel, The Groves and Rich Whiteley. Some big names included Grammy award winner Rebirth Brass Band, Deer Tick and Ra Ra Riot.
The bands represented many different genres, but folk was prominent.
"Our goal for the first year was to have something that spanned all generations so that we could pique interests and get everyone here," Zinober said. "So we kind of went for a lineup that no matter what time you came, you would enjoy the music."
Zinober said the board doesn't want to feature just one genre. They hope to expand the festival to two days and have each stage feature one genre in the future.
Along with supporting local bands, GMF hoped to promote local vendors.
"Our goal was to keep everything in the community and support our city," Zinober said.
The board hand-picked local vendors that used local ingredients. But because they couldn't guarantee numbers, many vendors didn't jump at the chance to set up at GMF.
They ended up charging about $100 for vendors to set up instead of charging a percentage of sales. Because of this, they ended up losing money.
"But at the same time, we gained it," Zinober said, "because it was something beneficial, and something that our community needed was to be focused on local instead of just grabbing whoever we could."
The effort showed. There were 16 different local vendors at the event, including food trucks like 3 Suns Organic Bistro and carts like Hot Donut Co. Some vendors, like Sticky Bunz Food Truck, sold out of food before the end of the night.
Zinober considered the festival a definite success. It took a lot of work, but she deems it absolutely worth it.
Although a success, GMF was almost pushed back until next year. Curtis Hixon Park had never been enclosed for an event before, so the area had to be approved by the fire marshal before GMF could be advertised. The approval didn't come in until five weeks before the date.
Beyond this, funding was also an issue. The thirteen board members all put in $1,000 each, but that still would not cover the expenses.
The board began holding house parties in order to spread awareness and ask attendees about becoming founding members. Each would donate $1,000.
"At the first party, like 16 people raised their hands," Zinober said. "It was overwhelming, and that kind of reaction is what encouraged us to have it ready for this year."
In total, 73 people donated money for the festival.
"Everyone on our board volunteered above and beyond the call of duty," Zinober said. She said everyone on the board signed a two year commitment, but she would sign a 10 year commitment considering the success of the first.
"This is a gift that we're giving to Tampa and in 10 years from now, my kids are going to be like, 'My mom helped do this,' when they're out there with their friends seeing their favorite band," Zinober said.
They hope that in two years, people will be flying in for Gasparilla Music Festival.
"Like Austin City Limits or Lollapalooza," Zinober said, "We'll be a destination festival."