Savannah Stopover will celebrate its fourth incarnation March 6-8, and Music File Productions, the company behind the growing music festival, is whetting our palates with an announcement show Nov. 21 at The Jinx featuring Athens indie darlings Futurebirds.
Kayne Lanahan, owner of Music File, explains why they invited Futurebirds to the gig.
"They're a great Georgia band with national prominence and they haven't played the market since they released their fantastic sophomore album 'Baba Yaga.' We've been wanting to get them back here for a while. They have a lot of roots in Savannah and their live shows are legendary," Lanahan says.
This will be the second year Lanahan and company will host an announcement party about Stopover, but she wants this year to be bigger and better.
"We did something on a smaller scale last year and wanted to build on it. It's a great way to give our local supporters a sneak peek at the lineup, celebrate some great music and support three fantastic bands.
"We're really excited that Savannah-based Triathalon will play their last show of the year as the opening act before they head out on their first major tour. And for people who haven't seen Athens-based New Madrid, they're in for a treat," Lanahan says.
Of the invite, Futurebirds' singer and guitarist Carter King says, "Brannen, our bass player, is from Savannah, so it's one of our many hometowns, and hometown shows are the best shows. They're like a big family reunion where crazy Aunt Linda is getting even wilder than usual ..."
Being from the South is a source of pride for Futurebirds.
"We all grew up in the South, so it's deeper than just influence - it's who we are," King says. "A lot of bands, like The Rolling Stones, are heavily influenced by the South, but it's another thing to be reared in and truly embody a place ... and Athens! Athens is the best incubator a baby band could hope for.
"It's such a hugely supportive music community, from other bands at every point in the food chain willing to help you out musically or take you on tour, to the clubs and promoters who pride themselves on giving smaller bands chances to open up for national acts coming through town. There's something to soak in at every corner in Athens, beers included."
While she'd say we're still lacking an Athens level of support, Lanahan does share that Savannah's support of Stopover has increased.
"We're really starting to see a lot of local pride from Savannah residents about Stopover and we want that to grow," she said. "The festival is known for nurturing up-and-coming music across so many different genres, and this fits so well with the artistic and eclectic nature of the city. And once again, we're excited to be showcasing so many of our local bands across the weekend."
People who attend the show are in for a few treats on top of a great night of music, Lanahan says.
"We'll announce the confirmed acts right after Triathalon, who is scheduled to play at 10 p.m.," she says. "We will have printed postcards with the confirmed lineup to date, which will link to a Spotify playlist. The first 100 people will also get a CD sampler of confirmed acts. We will also have tickets on sale and it will also be the last night to get early bird passes ... priced at $60. Regular tickets will go on sale the morning of Nov. 22."
As for Savannah Stopover, year four is shaping up to be epic.
"Every year, we hear from more and more bands and fans around the country and the globe who have heard great things about the festival and want to be part of it, so there was a lot of momentum heading into our booking season," Lanahan says. "We are seeing more bands wanting to secure a slot at Stopover regardless of whether or not they are playing SXSW, as well as more international bands wanting to add it as an anchor date when they are in the U.S.
"We're also adding some new ticketing options via our new ticketing partner, Ticketfly, that we hope will provide more opportunities for more people in Savannah to attend the festival," she says.
King adds, "Savannah better have its party pants on come Nov. 21."