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Tom Petty and his music are intertwined with American culture. He wrote and recorded songs that became the soundtrack to millions of people’s lives, becoming a universally revered star in the process. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, “Free Fallin — A Tribute to the Memory of Tom Petty” will honor the memory of Tom Petty with a performance at the Athens Theatre in DeLand.

When he passed away last October, the members of Free Fallin, Karl Swartz on guitar and vocals, Russ Lund on bass and vocals, Mark Larsen on drums, Dale Peterson on keyboards and vocals, Craig Wolke on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Tom Brademeyer as Tom Petty on vocals and guitar, were heartbroken knowing that they, and everyone else, had lost someone they admired greatly.

But for Free Fallin, it was more personal than to most. For the past 10 years, they have worked to develop and refine the best live tribute show to Tom Petty that fans have ever seen.

Long before that fateful October day, Free Fallin considered it their calling to provide Petty’s throngs of fans with the most accurate, skillful and soulful tribute experience possible. From their outfits and equipment to their playing styles and mannerisms, they homed in on all the details so that fans at their shows would come away with that same magical feeling of seeing Tom Petty play live.

With Petty’s untimely death, the members of Free Fallin feel that call even more. While nobody can ever replace Petty as a musical icon, his millions of fans deserve to celebrate his life and music in a way that will move them and let them connect with his music.

It has never been, and never will be, about replacing Petty and his music — that would be impossible. Instead, Free Fallin wants to lead the way in keeping the Tom Petty flame brightly lit.

We’re excited to bring Free Fallin to DeLand at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the historic Athens Theatre, 124 N. Florida Ave. in Downtown DeLand.

Tickets cost $25 for preferred reserved seating (first five rows center orchestra, and two rows center balcony), and $20 for general reserved seating. A $3-per-ticket processing charge and 6.5-percent sales tax are added to all purchases.

To purchase your tickets in advance or to find out more specific information, visit the Athens Theatre website at www.AthensDeLand.com, or call the box office at 386-736-1500. Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, and one-and-a-half hours before live performances

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