When Mitch Davis stood amid the sprawling crowds at last year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the recent Savannah Country Day School graduate probably thought he'd attend the event again.
He didn't fathom, however, that he'd be back at the hugely popular Manchester, Tenn., festival just one year later on stage as lead singer of his band, Staying For The Weekend.
"It's that thing you dream about, and then you're like, 'Ah, that probably won't happen,'" he said. "And then it just happened."
Adding more surprise to the turn of events: Staying For The Weekend was only recently formed, and it's Davis' first band. He joined the indie-pop-rock outfit after moving to Nashville last year to attend Belmont University.
He played music in his middle school jazz band, but he later switched paths to musical theater, learning to sing.
"I took voice lessons in (Savannah) and that's how I got into it," he said. "And then when I got here, it just kind of worked out."
In a way, the band as it is now was birthed from the festival that's introducing it to the world.
At college orientation the day after last year's Bonnaroo, Davis ran into guitarist and backup vocalist Carson Mays. The two noticed one another wearing the same Bonnaroo wristbands and hit it off.
"It's kind of funny how we started with Bonnaroo and now it's happening a year later," Davis said.
Staying For The Weekend released its first EP, "Camp Empathy," in November. The band, along with hundreds of others, entered the third annual Road To Roo campaign via Sonicbids. Online voting got Staying For The Weekend into the top 10, and then Bonnaroo officials selected the band as one of two to play the June 13-16 festival.
That puts Davis and his bandmates in a massive lineup that includes indie and alternative favorites along with musical giants ranging from Paul McCartney to the Wu-Tang Clan.
So far, the biggest crowd Staying For The Weekend has played for was about 150-strong at a Nashville-area festival. Being on the stage at Bonnaroo, Davis said, won't bother him in the slightest.
"I'm honestly more nervous about playing in front of 15 people than upwards of 100 or 200," he said. "The more people, the more fun we have and the more supportive everyone is."
Since the band hasn't made it to Savannah for a show yet, Davis said he's excited that family members and friends from back home are making the trip to Tennessee to see Staying For The Weekend play the festival.
His family, he said, might even be more excited than he is that he's performing at Bonnaroo. That's not to say he wasn't blown away when he found out his band had been selected.
"It was crazy," he said. "If you had told me a year ago right after I went that I'd be playing the next year, I'd be like, 'No way.'"
ON THE WEB
Go to dosavannah.com to listen to "The Giving Tree," a song from Staying For The Weekend's debut EP, "Camp Empathy."
To hear more from the band, go to stayingfortheweekend.bandcamp.com.
For more information about the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, go to bonnaroo.com.