GULF SHORES, Ala. — The 42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival™ is closer than you think, and organizers believe this year’s entertainment lineup is sure to please music lovers of all types. Produced by the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of …
GULF SHORES, Ala. — The 42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival™ is closer than you think, and organizers believe this year’s entertainment lineup is sure to please music lovers of all types. Produced by the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce, this year’s Festival will take place Oct. 10 – 13 where Alabama 59 meets the Gulf.
While the Festival is named for the tasty Gulf shrimp that are featured in numerous food vending booths, many come for the top-flight entertainers that grace two stages from morning to night for four straight days.
This year, veteran rockers Everclear will headline Saturday’s entertainment and Nashville-based up-and-comers BlackJack Billy will headline Friday’s lineup.
The traditional Thursday headliners of local favorites the Sand Band and the Tip Tops will once again take the stage to rock the first night of the Festival. Tradition will also round out the Festival on Sunday with the Andy Smith Band closing out the Festival entertainment schedule for at least the 13th year in a row.
From Everclear’s post-grunge and alternative rock and roll to BlackJack Billy’s country influenced stylings to the Motown showband sounds from Tip Tops, to the 70s and 80s party music of Dr. Zarr's Amazing Funk Monster, to the blues and jazz tinged melodies of Willie Sugarcapps and Grammy winner Tony Goulas, this year’s entertainment lineup has something for everyone.
“This year’s lineup is diverse, as usual,” Chamber Special Events Director Ann vonEberstein said. “We’ll have music at both the Wind Creek Casino East Stage and the Organized Seafood Association West stage, not to mention the Runa Packa Wind Rhythms Native American band. Everyone should be able to find a style of music to their liking.”
Festival Entertainment Chair Tammy Halco said her committee searched long and hard to find the bands that will appeal to Festival crowds.
“This year we made a conscious decision to find the best bands in the region,” she said. “We have bands that hail from as far away as Portland and Denver, but we’re recognized as one of the top festivals in the Southeast, and we decided our music lineup should reflect the best music from our local and regional music scene as well as artists from across the country that are well on their way to stardom.”
There are many excellent bands that are scheduled to play in support of the headliners, according to Halco.
“Spyn Reset played an afternoon gig for us last year featuring their progressive electronic instrumental music, and I must have had 75 people come up to me and tell me how great they were,” she said. “They sold out of every piece of merchandise they brought with them. We have them back this year for a later performance. Varlet is a psychedelic rock band with experimental folk, indie and jazz influences.”
The blues will figure prominently in this year’s lineup. Betsy Badwater, Ryan Balthrop, Greg Fells and Adam Holt, along with the previously-mentioned Willie Sugarcapps and Tony Goulas all play blues-influenced music.
“We’re not far from the Mississippi Delta where blues was born,” Halco said. “These musicians are part of our push to feature our regional talent.”
Festival Chairman Matt Mogan said some policies introduced at last year’s Festival pertaining to audiences for the entertainment will be implemented once again this year.
“We’re staying with our ‘No Chair’ policy for the areas directly in front of the stages,” he said. “In the past, some of our audience members would show up as soon as the Festival opens and they would place their camp chairs right in front of the stage. They would leave the chairs, and show back up just before the headliners took the stage. Sometimes their chairs would be moved and tempers would flare.”
Mogan said barricades will be placed 20 or 30 feet in front of the stages and security guards will be there to make sure the area right in front of the performers is reserved for people to stand and dance.
Along with top regional artists, many local artists including Brent Burns and Lisa Christian will perform as well.
“We’re dedicated to bringing our fans the best music our area has to offer,” Halco said.
For a complete lineup of Festival entertainment see their website at www.myshrimpfest.com and click on the Music link.