The Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest returns for its second year to town this Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11 at Tuscaloosa's Government Plaza. The festival, presented by the Community Foundation of West Alabama, will award a total of $7,500 in prizes for the top five winners in its 14 divisions. Admission is free.
“It’s great entertainment,” said Glenn Taylor, executive director of the Community Foundation. “These kind of events draw bluegrass and old-time fiddle musicians from all over the Southeast, and many come to play and don’t actually compete. They just come to hook up with other musicians and play together.”
Summer is in full swing now here in T-Town, and also in full swing? Things to do. All the things! From Tuscaloosa Restaurant Week (benefiting the West Alabama Food Bank) to the Black Warrior River Fiddle Festival this weekend to the First Tee of Tuscaloosa’s Annual Benefit Scramble on Saturday, this week affords plenty of great opportunities to get out and enjoy our fair city. Have fun!
Tuscaloosa Restaurant Week: June 6-12, various locations in Tuscaloosa and Northport. The West Alabama Food Bank has teamed up with sponsoring restaurants to offer “Hunger Bites!” pre-fixed menus and specials. Dine out while taking a bite out of hunger. For more information, visit tuscaloosarestaurantweek.com
Tuscaloosa County UA Alumni Crimson and White Wine Tasting: June 7, 6-8 p.m. Spirits Wine Cellar at The Shops of Lake Tuscaloosa. This event is free to members; non-members can join at the event. Proceeds go towards the Tuscaloosa County Chapter Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit alumni.ua.edu.
Live at the Plaza, Tuscaloosa’s summer concert series, is back for its second year of musical acts and entertainment. The concert series will host a free concert at Government Plaza every Friday night in June and July from 6 to 9 p.m. The series kicks off with an event sponsored by BankFirst Financial Services, showcasing music from the Matt Jones Trio on June 3.
Here’s wishing all of our Druid City Living readers a happy Memorial Day. Another wonderful week lies ahead, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved and above all else: Have fun.
Tuscaloosa Memorial Day Service 2016: May 30, 9 a.m. Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park (University Mall at McFarland Blvd). This hour-long program honors all fallen military heroes. For more information, visit tuscaloosaveteranspark.org.
Amelia Gorgas 190th Birthday Celebration: June 1, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Gorgas House Museum, University of Alabama campus. In honor of Amelia Gorgas’ birthday, admission to the Gorgas House will be free all day. Birthday cake will be served at 1 p.m. For more information, visit gorgashouse.ua.edu.
Tuscaloosa City Schools Public Engagement Meetings: June 2, 11 a.m. to Noon; 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Tuscaloosa Career & Technology Academy. These two meetings will allow local residents to share ideas about the new TCS superintendent search. Parents, guardians and the community at large are all invited to attend.
The Actor’s Charitable Theatre presents “Rock of Ages”: June 3-6, Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Tickets: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students. For more information, including to purchase tickets and for show times, visit theact.info or call (205) 393-2800.
Another lovely week is ahead here in T-Town, offering plenty of opportunities for you – and your family – to get out and enjoy!
Theatre Tuscaloosa Auditions for “The Producers:” May 24-25, 6 p.m. Bean-Brown Theatre, Shelton State Community College. For more information about auditions and what to prepare for, visit theatretusc.com.
Acoustic Night at the Bama Theatre Featuring Belle Adair with Della Ray: May 26, 7:30 p.m. Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Tickets $5 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m.
American Red Cross Blood Drive: May 27, 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. UPS Customer Service Center, Tuscaloosa. Come out and donate; the Tuscaloosa Red Cross needs you. For more information, call (205) 650-9511.
Nancy Blewitt Swim Complex Grand Opening: May 27, Noon. Bowers Park, Tuscaloosa. PARA is hosting a special ceremony for the dedication of the complex, which includes a brand new Super Splasher Slide, and more. For more information, visit tcpara.org.
With the weather forecast threatening, but on what turned out to be a beautiful evening, the “I Love the 90s” tour hit T-Town on Friday, May 20, featuring a lot of very well-known acts who had huge hit songs during the decade: Salt N Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, All-4-One, Coolio and Young MC and it was a lot of fun.
Continuum (soul/folk/electronic) Hangout Stage
Lost Kings (electronic/dance) Boom Boom Tent
Strangers You Know (alternative/indie) BMI Stage
It’s the last day of Hangout 2016, so you need to start the day on the right foot and keep moving. Reach for the Beach contest winners Continuum traveled all the way from Pensacola to show off their fresh mix of soul, folk and electronic sounds on the Hangout Stage. DJ duo Lost Kings will get the party started in the Boom Boom Tent, while indie alternative band Strangers You Know will play the BMI Stage.
The Wailers (reggae) Surf Stage
Spice-J (DJ/dance/bounce) Malibu Beach House
Coasts (alternative/indie/pop) Mermaid Stage
Bass Drum of Death (garage rock/rock-n-roll) AXS TV Stage
It’s hard to imagine what reggae music would be without The Wailers. Bob Marley’s band has been going strong for decades, and their rightful place is performing at a festival on the beach. Be sure to catch them in their natural habitat on the Surf Stage. Meanwhile, Spice-J returns to the Malibu Beach House for yet another bounce party. Over on the Mermaid Stage, indie pop group Coasts will be spreading their upbeat vibes. If you’d rather forgo the positivity and headbang with a band that truly rocks, Bass Drum of Death will throw down on the AXS TV Stage.
Coleman Hell (electro-folk/pop) Hangout Stage
Bro Safari (electronic/dance/trap) Boom Boom Tent
Pell (hip-hop/rap) BMI Stage
Folk-tronica, electro-folk, whatever you call it, Coleman Hell has perfected a cross-genre style that is truly unique. If you get the chance, you can hear something truly new when he takes the Hangout Stage at 1:30 on Sunday. If you’re trying to get down to some of the hardest-hitting beats Hangout has to offer, trap music veterans Bro Safari will provide. Meanwhile, up and coming hip-hop artist Pell will take the BMI Stage for anyone looking for the latest and greatest out of pre-Katrina NOLA.
Run the Jewels (hip-hop/rap) Surf Stage
HEALTH (noise rock/electronic) AXS TV Stage
Jerry Folk (electronic/house/chill) Malibu Beach House
Judah and the Lion (folk/bluegrass) Mermaid Stage
Hip-hop supergroup Run the Jewels (rapper Killer Mike and rapper/producer El-P) take the Surf Stage at 2:30 on Sunday. Meanwhile, hard-hitting noise-rock/electronica group HEALTH will be doing something weird and awesome (judging by their music videos) on the AXS TV Stage. Also, Jerry Folk returns for yet another DJ set in the Malibu Beach House. If none of these really do it for you, Judah and the Lion will play the only true bluegrass music of the festival on the Mermaid Stage.
Pro Tip: There is a 15-minute window from 3:30 to 3:45 perfect for a bathroom break or food and drink run before the next group of performers.
Fetty Wap (hip-hop/rap) Hangout Stage
POWERS (electronic/pop) BMI Stage
Grimes (electronic/synthpop) Boom Boom Tent
Say it with me: beats on the beach. Seems to be the theme of this year’s Hangout lineup, or at least the 3:45 block of Sunday. If you’re either a “Trap Queen” or you happen to be in the market for one, Fetty Wap will hit the Hangout Stage. If you want something a little more poppy, electro-duo POWERS will be grooving on the BMI Stage. And if you want something totally out there, go see Grimes do whatever Grimes does in the Boom Boom Tent. Expect something surreal.
Haim (pop/rock) Surf Stage
Mayer Hawthorne (soul) AXS TV Stage
Jack Novak (dance/electronic) Malibu Beach House
Raury (hip-hop/folk/soul) Mermaid Stage
When 5 p.m. Sunday rolls around, that means another quadruple-booking. Sister-act Haim will bring their pop rock mix to the beach on the Surf Stage, while neo-soul singer Mayer Hawthorne will take the AXS TV Stage. Jack Novak will take over the Malibu Beach yet again for another DJ set, while hip-hop/folk artist Raury will be on the Mermaid Stage.
Lenny Kravitz (rock) Hangout Stage
Flume (electronic/downtempo/pop) Boom Boom Tent
Muddy Magnolias (country/rock) BMI Stage
The first headliner of the last day of Hangout 2016 is none other than legendary shredder Lenny Kravitz. This could be one of those performances where everyone knows every song whether they realize it or not, just because he’s been a staple in the music business for so long. If for some reason the never-ending hit list of Lenny Kravitz isn’t your thing, Electronic producer Flume will have a downtempo set for you to chill out and groove to. And if Kravitz is old hat and you’re ready for something new, the Muddy Magnolias have a dual-lead singer, country rock thing going that has already received rave reviews from those in the industry.
Ellie Goulding (dance/electronic/pop) Surf Stage
Speaker of the House (DJ/house/dance) Malibu Beach House
Courtney Barnett (indie rock) AXS TV Stage
Thomas Jack (electronic/house) Mermaid Stage
The next big name on the list is English pop singer Ellie Goulding. Expect to hear all the hits that have steadily appeared on top 20 stations since “Lights” first popped up in 2010. If you’re looking to sneak in one more rock act before Hangout closes, go see Courtney Barnett, an indie rocker with cutting lyrics that are sometimes funny and sometimes raw, but always worth paying attention to. And if you want to dance but don’t want to fight the crowds at Ellie Goulding, Thomas Jack and Speaker of the House will be playing electronic house sets at the Mermaid Stage and Malibu Beach Tent, respectively.
Florence + the Machine (indie rock/soul/pop) Hangout Stage
This is it, the one we’ve all been waiting for. Hangout’s last headliner always makes for a great moment because there are no other artists pounding away in the Boom Boom Tent, competing for audience members. Instead, we get one final shared experience to cap the weekend before it all goes back to normal. This year, that’s going to be Florence + the Machine, whose songs are already big enough without the entirety of Hangout at their disposal. Try to stay toward the back if you get uncomfortable in large crowds to make the exit much less stressful. See you there!
Saturday at the 2016 Hangout Festival is packed with great offerings, including several noteworthy alt-rock groups with a decidedly grunge bent. These are some of the best bets, so be sure to jot down your favorites so you can catch them all.
For those heading to Gulf Shores this weekend for the 2016 Hangout Music Festival, here are some noteworthy bands and artists to see on the first full day of the fest: Friday, May 20. It’s worth mentioning that several of these bands have direct ties to Alabama, too.
The Prentice Concert Chorale’s 45th anniversary season culminates with two performances of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s choral masterwork, “All Night Vigil.” Sung in collaboration with the St. Philip’s Episcopal Choir of Jackson, Mississippi, performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, at St. Philip Episcopal Church in Jackson and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa. In appreciation of 45 years of community support, both concerts are presented free of charge.