Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.

- Tom Petty


The Tom Petty Birthday Bash is a music festival celebrating the life and legacy of Gainesville's hometown hero through music, art and community engagement to share his music for generations to come.


Celebrated on or around the weekend of Tom Petty's birthday, this one of a kind music festival showcases top-notch local and national bands. Music and love flow throughout the weekend and your attendance benefits the UF Health Shands Arts In Medicine program.

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On October 2, 2017, American Rock and Roll icon, Tom Petty, tragically passed away, leaving millions of fans all over the world shocked and saddened. Despite Tom Petty’s global status as an international superstar, he was a down to earth dude from Gainesville, FL. Just three weeks after his death, over what would have been his 67th birthday, Gainesville native, musician, and frontman of Hometown Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band, Heavy Petty, Jason Hedges, organized the first Tom Petty Birthday Bash on October 20th. Fans near and far gathered for the free, six-hour show of all Petty tunes. Produced completely grassroots, Jason grabbed nine local musicians and bands, artists and food trucks and Heavy Petty closed the evening out with over 2,500 dancing fans.


With a limited amount of time and resources, what began amidst a frenetic burst of passion and grief for the recently deceased Petty developed into a full-on, free, music festival by 2018.


  • 2018 - Over 8,000 fans from 47 states and six countries attended.

  • 2019 - Over 10,000 fans celebrated the eternal music of Tom Petty.

  • 2020 - Virtual music festival in support with Red Light Management and Tom Petty Estate. Presented by Amazon Music and Sirius XM with over 424K livestream views. 

  • 2021 - Will be the fourth annual celebration in Gainesville. Details coming soon. 

Jason believes in the healing power of music and spends his days playing bedsides for patients as a Musician in Residence with the UF Health Shands Arts In Medicine program. The festival helps support and raise awareness to the local nonprofit where music is medicine.


Heavy Petty is the hometown Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers musical tribute band. Formed in 2009 for a one night only show, they now have fans all across the nation. Now more than ever, Heavy Petty wants to keep Tom Petty's music alive and thriving for generations to come.

Tom Petty Birthday Bash is a Damn The Torpedoes LLC Production


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