Sloss Music & Arts Festival

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2015 Sloss Fest logo.png

The Sloss Music & Arts Festival (or Sloss Fest) was a two-day outdoor festival featuring musical performances, vendor booths and demonstrations held annually at Sloss Furnaces from 2015 to 2018. The event was staged by Red Mountain Entertainment and Venue Management, along with AC Entertainment of Knoxville, Tennessee.

The organizers announced in October 2018 that the festival would not continue in 2019.

2018 festival

The fourth annual Sloss Music & Arts Festival was held on July 14-15, 2018. Pop-up thunderstorms in the area caused several disruptions in the schedule and organizers twice asked patrons to clear the site until the weather cleared, leading to mass confusion and widespread criticism.

The lineup of artists included:

  • Saturday: Arcade Fire, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Vance Joy, Moon Taxi, Vic Mensa, Jai Wolf, Quinn XCII, Waxahatchee, Flagship, Walden, Joel Madison Blount, Arlie, Love Moor, Lady Legs, Capitan Kudzu, Dead Fingers

Scheduled performances by White Reaper, LANY, Matt Maeson, and Big Freedia were canceled, and *Repeat Repeat's set was cut short.

  • Sunday: Chris Stapleton, Griz, St Paul & the Broken Bones, Louis the Child, Margo Price, Hippie Sabotage, Nikki Lane, The Spencer Lee Band, Morgan Saint, Brent Cobb, Morning Teleportation, Patrick Droney, Super Doppler, The Brummies, Taylor Hunnicutt, Shocks.

Scheduled sets by Rainbow Kitten Surprise, PVRIS, The War on Drugs, AJR, Will Stewart, Heath Green & the Makeshifters and headliners St Paul & the Broken Bones were pre-empted, and Margo Price's set was cut short. St Paul & the Broken Bones played an unannounced show later that night at Saturn.

2017 festival

Sloss Fest's third annual event was held on July 15-16, 2017. Artists performing included the Alabama Shakes, Widespread Panic, Odesza, Sturgill Simpson, Run the Jewels, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Spoon, Needtobreathe, Phantogram, Tycho, Judah & the Lion, Cherub, Conor Oberst, Vince Staples, Cashmere Cat, Charles Bradly & His Extraordinaires, Francis & the Lights, K. Flay, Waka Flocka Flame, the Heydaze, Kaiydo, Hiss Golden Messenger, Beach Slang, Harrison Brome, Mike Floss, John Moreland, Wray, Nerves Baddington, Ruston Kelley, Ages & Ages, Lawrence, Lillie Mae, Holy Youth, Riverbend, C1ub:A.M, New Devils, Nowhere Squares, Shaheed & DJ Supreme, Byron the Aquarius, and Vulture Whale.

2016 festival

The second annual event was held on July 16-17, 2016 with forty acts on four stages.

The lineup of artists included:

  • Saturday:
    • Blast Stage: Big Something, Steve Gunn, The Joy Formidable, Glass Animals, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Ryan Adams & the Shining
    • Steam Stage: Seratones, Anderson East, Shovels & Rope, Grouplove, Death Cab for Cutie
    • Shed Stage: The Bright Light Social Hour, Los Colognes, White Denim, Betty Who, Washed Out, Logic
    • Seasick Records Stage: Daniel Elias & Exotic Dangers, Null, GT
  • Sunday:
    • Blast Stage: JMR, Dylan LeBlanc, Jr Jr, Dr Dog, The Arcs, Ray LaMontagne,
    • Steam Stage: Escondido, Banners, Sylvan Esso, Fitz & the Tantrums, The Flaming Lips
    • Shed Stage: Boom Forest, The Burning Peppermints, Hudson Mohawke, The Struts, Danny Brown, Ghostland Observatory
    • Seasick Records Stage: Future Primitives, The Pollies, Nerves Baddington

Starr Hill Brewery of Crozet, Virginia sponsored a "Craft Works" section at the Piggly Wiggly "Crafty Beerly" beer garden, and Redmont Distillery opened a "Redmont Vodka Lounge" for cocktails. BBVA Compass sponsored the "Tech Dome" VIP area, also welcoming all of its account cardholders. Sloss Metal Arts gave iron pouring demonstrations and the American Poster Institute mounted an exhibition of its members' graphic work.

Tickets were priced at $75 to 95 for general admission day passes and $105 to 150 for general admission weekend passes. "Iron Passes" and VIP passes were priced at $125-195 per day or $170-325 for the weekend.

2015 festival

The inaugural event was held on July 18-19, 2015 with thirty-three performers on three stages.

The lineup of artists included:

  • Saturday:
    • Steam Stage: T. Hardy Morris, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Lord Huron, Young the Giant, Cage the Elephant
    • Shed Stage: LANY, Kaleo, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Cathedrals, Robert DeLong, Big Gigantic
    • Blast Stage: Paul Thorn, Noah Gundersen, First Aid Kit, Band of Horses, Modest Mouse
  • Sunday:
    • Steam Stage: Blank Range, Judah & the Lion, Sturgill Simpson, Manchester Orchestra, Primus
    • Shed Stage: Grifters, Muddy Magnolias, Kenny Loften, Zella Day, Milo Greene, Purity Ring, Tyler the Creator
    • Blast Stage: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear, The New Pornographers, St Paul & the Broken Bones, The Avett Brothers

Other attractions included food vendors and trucks and a beer garden featuring a special "Siren of Sloss" beer made collaboratively by Trim Tab Brewing Company and Starr Hill Brewery of Crozet, Virginia. Sloss Metal Arts demonstrated cast iron pouring. An interactive art installation entitled "enCHANTment" was commissioned from Tres Taylor. Members of the American Poster Institute displayed graphic works. Numerous merchandise and service vendors, as well as information booths for non-profit organizations, operated during the festival. Misting tents and water bottle refilling stations were provided to help visitors through the triple-digit heat.

Tickets were priced at $85/95 for general admission day passes and $135/150 for general admission weekend passes. "Iron Passes" and VIP passes were priced at $135-195 per day or $210-325 for the weekend. The perquisites available to Iron Pass and VIP ticketholders included admission to air-conditioned areas.

Big Communications designed the festival's brand identity and logo. Boss Construction designed the official commemorative poster.

References

  • Colurso, Mary (March 11, 2015) "Sloss Music & Arts Festival: 3 stages, 30+ acts, specialty beer, BBQ at new event in Birmingham." The Birmingham News
  • Burgess, Jeremy (July 15, 2015) "Behind the Brand: The Inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival" Big Happenings
  • Colurso, Mary (July 17, 2015) "Sloss Fest 2015: Full lineup, music schedule, site map, ticket prices, other info for Birmingham festival." The Birmingham News
  • Harvey, Alec (July 19, 2015) "Sloss Fest 2015 organizers: The festival will be back." The Birmingham News
  • Prickett, Sam (March 1, 2016) "SlossFest announces 2016 lineup." Weld for Birmingham
  • Colurso, Mary (June 25, 2016) "Sloss Fest 2016 adds Seasick Records Stage with 6 Alabama bands." The Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (July 19, 2016) "Sloss Fest 2016: How did the Birmingham music festival fare during its second year?" The Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (July 17, 2018) "Sloss Fest organizers respond to questions, complaints about stormy weekend event." The Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (October 19, 2018) "Sloss Fest calls it quits after grappling with weather woes in 2018." The Birmingham News

External links