Digital Graffiti Alys Beach

Digital Art on Serious 30A Architecture

Posted on 4/30/2024

Everyone knows that the gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches are the main attraction of the Emerald Coast, but Scenic Highway 30A has so much more to offer. From cultural events to festivals, art shows, and concerts, this slice of paradise has everything you need to make your beach vacation the best ever. One of the most unique experiences is a one-of-a-kind art extravaganza that debuted here in 2007, and has now become an exciting annual tradition in South Walton—the Digital Graffiti Festival in Alys Beach!

Digital Graffiti is a high-tech, innovative art display that celebrates the intersection of projection art and architecture. A computer guru named Mike Ragsdale pioneered this new art form that combined technology, art, and architecture. The concept is simple—digital artists create original masterpieces that are computer-generated and projected onto a blank wall. Though the concept is simple, the results are extraordinary! Many of these images are multi-colored, animated illustrations that appear to vibrate and glow as they are displayed. The dynamic imagery features a Disney-esque quality mixed with an ethereal yet contemporary carnival-type effect.

Digital Graffiti Founder Mike Ragsdale

In 2007, Ragsdale premiered this vibrant artistic style in Alys Beach. And there really couldn’t have been a more perfect place for its debut. Alys Beach’s stark-white walls provided an ideal canvas for these vivid and imaginative images.

"We came up with this idea to project art on to this blank canvas, this growing blank canvas that is Alys Beach" - Mike Ragsdale

Since that time, this once-a-year event has attracted thousands of visitors who stroll through the village of Alys Beach after dark to view the community-wide production. For two evenings, the entire town lights up with visual displays projected onto the walls, towers, rooftops, palm trees, pools, and even the guests themselves. This fun, eclectic art style has flourished relatively quickly, and many of the installations have become interactive. Visiting guests can be filmed and then transformed into beautiful, surreal imagery on the town walls as modernistic, moving murals.

Digital Graffiti Alys Beach House
Walking Throught Digital Graffiti Alys Beach
Digital Graffiti Alys Beach Family Night

The event is now an international sensation, with digital artists worldwide vying for cash prizes awarded by a jury of judges each year.

This year, the 17th annual Digital Graffiti Festival will kick off its colorful display on May 17 for two days of colorful fun. Nearly 50 incredible global artists have been selected as finalists to participate. Artists will be coming from Russia, Sweden, Spain, France, Ukraine, China, Korea, Portugal, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, the United States, and beyond. It’s safe to say that this is going to be the best Graffiti Festival yet!

Digital Graffiti Alys Beach

Cash prizes will be awarded by the festival’s curator, John Collette, and an esteemed panel of judges. Awards include Best of Show ($5,000), Curator’s Choice ($2,000), and three Special Recognition honors ($1,000 each). Over the past 16 years, the Alys Foundation has donated more than $300,000 in awards and artist stipends to support artists and further digital work in the public realm.

Digital Graffiti Alys Beach Row Homes

This year’s event has also expanded to include some educational components. The festival’s schedule includes the typical magical displays from May 17 to May 18. It has also expanded to incorporate educational components and panel discussions, as well. Each of the panel discussions requires a free RSVP, which can be reserved at digitalgraffiti.com. From 8 pm to 11 pm on Friday, May 17, there is an adult-only (21+) stroll on the festival path. This is the perfect opportunity for a date night or night out with friends—because there’s nothing better than enjoying spectacular art, amazing food, and refreshing beverages in the perfect coastal air with your favorite people. The adult’s only night is $200/person. On May 18, families and guests of all ages are welcome to enjoy the artistic extravaganza. Children’s tickets are $25/person, and adults are $60/person for Saturday’s Digital Graffiti event.

Digital Graffiti Alys Beach Tickets

In addition to the spectacular digital art displays, visiting guests will get to enjoy food and beverages hosted and provided by some amazing 30A vendors. Restaurants include Wild Olives 30A, George’s at Alys Beach, Watersound Village Market, Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, Pescado Seafood Grill & Rooftop Bar, Blue Mountain Bakery, Grayze Provisions, Swiftly Catered, Marrow Private Chefs, and Old Florida Fish House. Beverage vendors include Penta Tequila, Better Together Beverage, Good Clean Wine, Idyll Hounds Brewing Company, Distillery 98, Castle & Key Distillery, and Nicole Ciani. Food truck vendors for Saturday, May 18’s Digital Graffiti showing include Chuy’s Popsicles, Dogs Gone Wild, Gelato Love, My Ohana, and Taco 30A.

Ocean Reef Guests

If you’re on 30A and looking for an incredibly unique experience to elevate your South Walton vacation, be sure to check out this one-of-a-kind event. You’ll also want to browse our private vacation rentals at Seacrest Beach, which is within walking distance of this vibrant show. We can’t wait for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy a wonderful evening, making fantastic memories that will last a lifetime!

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