Adding to the first wave of about 40 bands, Savannah Stopover Music Festival announced its full lineup this week with an additional 39 acts, plus three label showcases to round out the festival's eighth year.
Beginning in 2017, Savannah Stopover founder and CEO Kayne Lanahan capped the overall amount of bands at about 80, as opposed to previous years' 100-plus. The new format allowed breathing room for patrons attempting to navigate the three-day festival while allowing the indie event to pay for larger acts. Sticking to the new format, there will be 80 to 85 bands again this year.
The festival is expanding in different ways this year. Most notably, they will feature a huge label showcase from the major indie label New West Records, as well as its smaller imprint, the Athens-based Normaltown Records. There will also be a showcase for Sleep Well Records, a brand-new label founded by pronoun's Alyse Vellturo, a Stopover alum. Stopover has had label showcases in the past, including Graveface Records, but not to the extent they will this year.
"It just sort of happened organically," Lanahan said. "George Fontaine at New West reached out to me about a few bands on their Normaltown Records imprint based in Athens, and at that point we coincidentally already had offers in for two New West artists and I said, 'What if we expand on this and turn it into a real event?'"
Read all about the first wave of Stopover bands here.
This year is New West Record's 20th anniversary, and so they jumped on a chance to celebrate at a festival with which they have history. New West artists Ron Gallo, All Them Witches and The Whigs are festival alumni.
The New West Records showcase on March 9 at Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum will feature Cicada Rhythm, Caroline Rose, Lilly Hiatt and Nikki Lane. On March 10, the festival will feature five bands from Normaltown: White Violet, David Barbe & Inward Ebb Dream, DEGA, Wild Moccasins and The Nude Party.
Vellturo pitched Stopover two of her recent new label's signees, Cape Francis and Charles Fauna. Lanahan wanted them both to play as well as pronoun, so a third showcase was set up to highlight the new label.
"As a festival, we're huge supporters of female artists, so this felt like a great way to go!" Lanahan said. "I think the combination of the three showcases really embodies what the festival is all about - a national label with a great roster of legends and up-and-comers, a Georgia-based label with an amazing roster of regional favorites and a brand-new label that's all about discovery."
Of the 11 Savannah bands on the roster, seven have never played the annual festival, which will pair them with touring bands in hopes of spotlighting the local scene and giving a larger stage to local musicians.
Payne Bridges, Bero Bero, Linkin Crawford, Cory Chambers Jazz Band, Ryan Jones, Isaac Enen, Nancy Druid, Rude Dude and The Creek Freaks, CUSSES, Damon and the Sh!tkickers and Twisty Cats are confirmed to play.
"We had the most local submissions ever and had to make some tough choices," Lanahan said. "We do try and find great pairings with our touring bands; lots of good things have come out of those relationships in past years. Cattie Williams, our festival coordinator, goes to lots and lots of local shows and really sees what's up and coming in town with new music. We're really excited to introduce some of these bands to a broader audience."
Stopover will announce the full list of venues later this month, as well as a schedule of performances as they wait on touring bands to solidify their schedules.
Nikki Lane, Greenville, S.C.
Colter Wall, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
The Cave Singers, Seattle
Lilly Hiatt, Nashville, Tenn.
Caroline Rose, Burlington, Vt.
Zeshan B, Chicago
Yonatan Gat, New York City
Kemba, The Bronx
Vita and the Woolf, Philadelphia
Becca Mancari, Nashville, Tenn.
Sun Parade, Northhampton, Mass.
Mo Lowda & The Humble, Philadelphia
Neighbor Lady, Athens/Atlanta
Future Generations, Los Angeles/New York City
Colin Caulfield of DIIV, New York City
Grace Joyner, Charleston, S.C.
French Vanilla, Los Angeles
A Deer A Horse, Brooklyn
Wilder Maker, New York City
The Pauses, Orlando, Fla.
The Muckers, Brooklyn via Iran
Birthday Club, Houston
The Medium, Nashville, Tenn.
Nation Of Language, Brooklyn
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Stopover Music Festival
When: March 8-10
Where: Various locations in downtown Savannah