Local music, food, brews and goods will be on offer Saturday, June 21, as the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center presents a free community festival celebrating ASC Commissions Birmingham.
The free, family-friendly festival, LOCAL, will showcase the best of Birmingham music, merchants and vendors from 5-10 p.m. on the longest day of the year, outside on the Engel Plaza at the ASC, 1200 10th Ave. South. Browse tents and enjoy produce from local farmers’ markets including Pepper Place Market and West Homewood Farmers Market; shop local merchants such as Stone Hollow Farmstead Pantry, Leaf & Petal, West Elm, Oli. O, Green Bottle Candle Co., and many more; grab a bite to eat from local food trucks or refreshments from Octane, Steel City Pops and others; and enjoy the cash bars including beer from Cahaba Brewery. The highlight of the event will be musical performances from the talented finalists of ASC Commissions Birmingham.
In January, the ASC asked songwriters and composers to share their talent by submitting one or more songs or compositions about Birmingham. All genres and instruments were eligible, but the song must be original. In response, 86 video submissions were made. Now 12 finalists have been selected by the esteemed panel of judges. The finalists will perform their own song written about Birmingham at LOCAL. Three performers, selected by a panel of judges, will each receive studio time at UAB to record their winning songs. The top 12 finalists are:
- Chris Copeland, “Find My Way”
- Joshua Vasa, “City of Steel”
- India Ramey, “Rusty City”
- Raquel Lily, “Birmingham”
- Wilder Adkins, “Side By Side”
- Wisdom Bibbs, “Birmingham, Alabama (Home of the Magic Land)”
- Jason Brouwer, “Magic City Mines”
- Mandi Mapes, “Birmingham”
- The Southern Lights, “Rainy Day in Birmingham”
- Eric Latham and David Bibbs, “Abracadabra (Magic City at Night)”
- A.D. Howard, “Birmingham Keeps Calling Me Home”
- Bob Marston, “Real Magic, Good People”
This free community event is sponsored by the Alys Stephens Center’s Junior Board. Through sponsorships, LOCAL will raise funds to help support ArtPlay, the ASC’s education and outreach initiative. ArtPlay reaches more than 12,000 individuals in the Birmingham community each year through its art and education programs that are either low-cost or free.
In addition to the free festival, the ASC will offer for sale VIP tickets that will include food and beverages from local Birmingham vendors. VIP tickets are $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the event. The VIP wristband can be purchased online at www.AlysStephens.org.
The ASC Commissions Birmingham panel, which chose the finalists, included Chris Confessore, resident conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra; Eric Essix, UAB Department of Music instructor and president of Essix Music Group/Essential Recordings; composer Yotam Haber, director of MATA Festival; Bobby Horton, musical historian and composer; Kimberly Kirklin, director of the ASC’s ArtPlay; Scott Register, host of “Reg’s Coffeehouse” on Birmingham Mountain Radio; Jessica Simpson, owner of Artistic Endeavors, LLC; and Carla Jean Whitley, managing editor of Birmingham magazine.