Savannah Stopover is just a little over a month away, and there is palpable excitement among local followers of indie rock and many who are immersed in the local music scene.

But if you're not following the scene, the impressive Stopover lineup might just read like some sort of surrealist poem.

With more than 90 bands playing over three days, it will be nearly impossible, even for those of us who are covering the festival, to preview every single act.

So what to do? If you're overwhelmed by the number of choices, what's the best way to figure out a plan for March 6-8?

First off, embrace the spirit of discovery.

With so many bands and with 10 Historic District venues all within walking distance, you could turn Savannah Stopover into a spontaneous pub crawl. Stop by one venue, check out the band and stay if you like it, move on if you're looking for something better.

Or just trust the programming. I've got plenty of my own opinions, but I've come to trust the people in charge of the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Jazz Festival, Savannah Stopover and other big events on the calendar.

And that probably means devoting attention first to the 20 or so headlining acts. A few of them play really late shows, but there are some big exceptions, like the free community concert in Ellis Square on March 8 capped by The Weeks and the opening night party in the Moon River Beer Garden with St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

Even if festival attendees arbitrarily limited their experience to local acts and to the showcases of locally based labels, they'd be guaranteed a busy, fun, exhausting weekend.

On Thursday, March 6, Kylesa will perform late at The Jinx after several other bands on their Retro Futurist label.

The Congress Street Social Club is the venue for two other local label showcases - Soft Science on Friday, March 7, and Furious Hooves on Saturday, March 8. Both of those events start in the afternoon.

The Savannah Stopover website also features an interactive schedule so users can sign up and share their picks with online contacts. Relatively few attendees seemed to use the service last year, but I have found it immensely helpful in tipping me off to acts I might otherwise have missed.

However you approach Savannah Stopover, you're sure to find some personal gems.

Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged ( Contact him at