2008 City Stages

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The 2008 City Stages was the 20th annual edition of "Birmingham's World-Class Music Festival". The festival took place on nine stages around Linn Park and 5th Avenue North on June 13-15, 2008.

For 2008 festival organizers inked a three-year deal with Knoxville, Tennesee's AC Entertainment, a co-producer of the successful Bonnaroo festival to serve as booking agent, instead of Red Mountain Entertainment. Ticket prices were $28 for a day pass and $37.50-$50 for a three-day pass (compared to $45-50 in 2007).

Among the changes that took place in 2008 were an expanded band merchandise tent and the barring of re-admittance after 6:30 PM. The festival also introduced recycling stations for aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Containers were located near beverage vendors.

Scattered thundershowers moved through the area on Friday and Saturday evenings, but did not cause significant delays. The performance by headliner Diana Ross on Friday night was delayed for a number of reasons. The Birmingham Police Department made 74 arrests at the festival, 61 of which were directly related to underage drinking. Three were arrested for disorderly conduct, two for public lewdness and one for assault.




  • Mind Dynasty
  • Blues Old Stand
  • Ronnie Barnett & Rhonda Chandler
  • Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw
  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Erin McCarley
  • Sterner & McCombs
  • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Griffin House
  • Doug Singleton
  • 4 Guys with Guitars featuring Eliot Morris, Jon Black, Ryan Horne and Micha Dalton
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Classical Blues Cabaret
  • Drew Mays
  • Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys
  • Beyond Me
  • Will Hoge
  • Chris Miller & Bayou Roots
  • Janet Hall & Dan Farmer
  • Nick Moss & the Flip Tops
  • Landon Pigg
  • Blind Melon
  • Dave Barnes
  • Marc Broussard
  • Buddy Guy
  • Al Green
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Act of Congress
  • Jon Black
  • Ford Turrell
  • Jon McLaughlin
  • Nick Moss and the Flip Tops
  • Rocket City Jazz Orchestra
  • Righteous Bastards
  • Notorious
  • Chris Miller & Bayou Roots
  • TekNeek
  • Andrew Bird
  • Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
  • North Mississippi Allstars Hill Country Revue
  • Blue Moon
  • M. A. D. Skillz
  • Michael Saab


Texas folk-rocker Alejandro Escovedo was originally scheduled for Saturday's line-up. He cancelled in late May because he had signed on to open for the Dave Matthews Band during their summer tour.


As of November 2007, City Stages was carrying $230,000 in debt, of which $186,000 represented the deficit from the 2007 City Stages. The festival budgeted $2.7 million for production of the 2008 event, of which $1.1 million is earmarked for talent booking. Despite increasing the budget to $2.85 million, organizers expected the festival to break even by a small margin this year. Public funding came in the form of a $500,000 payment from the City of Birmingham (up from $300,000 in 2007) and $5,000 from the discretionary fund of Jefferson County Commission member Jim Carns (the County contributed $105,000 in 2007). $85,000 of the overall budget, plus incentives, goes to AC Entertainment for helping book the festival.

On the Thursday following the festival marketing director Guy McCullough reported that ticket sales had fallen short of the projected $1.29 million needed to break even for the year and poise the organization to erase its debts in 2009.

City Stages
Site: Linn Park and Downtown Birmingham
By year: 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998
1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009
Miscellaneous: Gallery of City Stages posters


  • Colurso, Mary (November 18, 2007) "Birmingham's City Stages organizers hire Bonnaroo co-producer." Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (March 30, 2008) "City Stages concert festival in Birmingham, Alabama announces Diana Ross, Flaming Lips." Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (May 4, 2008) "Additions enhance City Stages lineup." Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (May 23, 2008) "Alejandro Escovedo changes plans, not playing at City Stages." Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (June 8, 2008) "City Stages looking to break even this year, eliminate debt in 2009." Birmingham News
  • Bouma, Katherine (June 12, 2008) "Recycling front and center as City Stages goes green." Birmingham News
  • Kemp, Kathy (June 16, 2008) "Flaming Lips ends a rejuvenated City Stages." Birmingham News
  • Gray, Jeremy (June 16, 2008) "Police arrest 74 during City Stages." Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (June 19, 2008) "Ticket sales fell short at Birmingham's City Stages, organizers say." Birmingham News

External links