This week, Savannah Stopover has invaded downtown Savannah, Georgia with over 100 bands “stopping by” (hence the festival name) on their way to the uber-popular SXSW in Austin, Texas. This event is great for the bands, city, and of course, music lovers, and can help quell the “we need a better music scene” complaints that sometimes seep into conversations about Savannah. Savannah Stopover founder Kanye Lanahan wrote an excellent post about this issue here. Music starts today at noon at the gorgeous Ships of the Sea outdoor garden and lasts until 1am or later at Wormhole, Jinx, Live Wire, Locos, Dosha, and Congress Street Social Club. Here’s the schedule: Savannah Stopover 2012.
But this post isn’t just about Savannah; it’s about events held in any city. We all owe it to the areas we live in to support the events that go on because the more we do, the better the events will get and the more that will be added to the annual events calendar.
Here’s a post I wrote about why people should go to the Savannah Stopover, but you could substitute pretty much any event and change a few words to apply this post to any event in any city.
Five Reasons You Should Go to Savannah Stopover by Shawndra Russell for South Magazine
If you missed last year’s inaugural event, you owe it to yourself to check it out this year.
The event has nearly doubled in size from a little over 30 to over 100 bands with 10 venues
participating and growing from three to now four days. It’s a flat-out kickass event, and great for
our city too. So do something different this weekend and enjoy some great acts as they stop by
on their way to Austin’s renowned SXSW festival that begins next week.
1. Support Our Music Venues
I’ve heard people complain about Savannah’s music scene, but how many venues have you gone
to so you could watch live music? Do you look at the weekly music schedules and pick out a
band or two you’d like to see at one of the many venues that have music every single week in
Savannah? The more love you show this weekend, the more likely these and other venues will
book more music acts. And admit it; you probably tend to go to the same places over and over.
Use Savannah Stopover as an excuse to go check out a place you haven’t been to before or been
back to in a while.
2. Give the Visiting Bands a Great Crowd
Musicians blog and tweet about the cities they visit and the crowds they play for. They also talk
to other bands and remember when a place made them feel welcomed. Some of the bands this
weekend will blow up and when they are big-name acts, maybe they’ll come back and bring with
them another cool act as their openers?
3. Support Our Local Musicians
Plenty of local musicians are participating, like Kid Syc@Brandywine, Dare Dukes, General
Oglethorpe & the Panhandlers, Triathalon, Convict Fiction, Hot Plate, Lonesome Swagger,
Crazy Man Crazy, Jamison Murphy, D.C.B., Magic Places, Lovely Locks, Free Candy, Indian
Giver, Damon & the Sh!kickers, the Train Wrecks, Roland, Sincerely Iris, Each & Every Opus,
Word of Mouth, Whaleboat, and Tony Beasley. How many of these bands have you seen? Make
it your mission to see at least one new local act this weekend.
4. Good for the Cultural Economy
Stopover organizer Kayne Lanahan just wrote a great post on the Creative Coast blog about how
this festival can help the Savannah’s creative industry beyond just music. He explains, “Over the
past year, I’ve taken a closer look at many of the cities across the country that have a reputation
for having a vibrant and well regarded music scene, almost always goes hand in hand with
a whole bunch of other “scenes”. These cities generally reflect an open and willing desire to
support new ideas and burgeoning businesses in the arts, food, technology, film, design, and
environmental sectors. These scenes, while separate, when well fed, cross-pollinate like bees on
a warm summer day. They make this generation and the next say not only “this is a place I want
to live” but “this is a place I want to stay.”
5. Do Something Different
You can return to your routine next weekend. Got a typical happy hour spot for Fridays? Skip
it. Dinner plans for Saturday night? Postpone them. This festival only comes around once a year
and may be your only chance to see of these bands because there’s no guarantee they’ll come
back to Savannah.
The festival kicks off tonight (March 7) at 7 p.m. at Telfair Square with the last shows starting at
midnight on Saturday, March 10.