Red Mountain Entertainment brings a legendary lineup to Birmingham July 18–19 at Sloss Furnaces.
When Red Mountain Entertainment released the lineup for the inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival coming to Sloss Furnaces July 18–19, cheers could be heard from down in the valley, over the mountain, and beyond. Even Vulcan gave a “Hoorah!” Music lovers couldn’t believe how many great performers were listed, and Birmingham was ecstatic that a festival was being added to our already burgeoning music scene. “With a festival void in the market, it felt like Birmingham was ready for a new major music and lifestyle festival,” says Jay Wilson, partner at Red Mountain Entertainment. “So, when we promoted the Alabama Shakes in 2013 for two nights at Sloss Furnaces, we walked around the site and realized that Sloss is an absolutely perfect venue for a major music festival! That was when the idea started to take shape.”
Just in case you missed it, let’s recap the lineup. Over the three stages, you’ll find Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Cage the Elephant, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Young the Giant, Lord Huron, First Aid Kit, Manchester Orchestra, and more. Wilson says this lineup wasn’t an accident—it took lots of hard work. “RME worked closely with our partners at AC Entertainment in Knoxville to book bands that we think music lovers will want to see. Our focus was to create a diverse lineup that offered many different genres including some brand-new acts people might not be familiar with,” he says. “We looked closely at Birmingham Mountain Radio’s playlist, concert history in this market, and what new bands were starting to break and we landed on what we think is a great lineup of exceptional artists.”
Wilson says Red Mountain believes Birmingham is ready for a festival that rivals other big-name ones in the Southeast like Shaky Knees in Atlanta and the Hangout in Gulf Shores, Alabama. “[The Sloss Fest] allows us to answer the question, ‘Is Birmingham big enough and hip enough to support something of this magnitude?’ with a resounding, ‘Yes!’” Wilson says. “Plus it allows an opportunity for out-of-town visitors to experience a national historic landmark and see the new Birmingham.”
If you’re planning to go to the Sloss Fest, here’s what you need to know: general admission two-day passes are $135 now and $150 the day of the event. An Iron two-day pass, which includes access to exclusive tents with air conditioning and private bars, special lines into the festival, and a chance to win an upgrade to a VIP pass, is $210 or $225 the day of the festival. And the two-day VIP pass—with access to air-conditioned VIP lounges, special viewing areas, a private food truck with food for purchase, souvenirs, and more—is $325 (there’s a limited quantity of these available.)
In addition to the music, Sloss Fest will be a gathering place for the best food and drink vendors in Birmingham. Additionally, fans will be able to join Nick Pihakis, of Jim ’N Nick’s, as he welcomes them into his incredible world of “Nick ’N Friends.” Chefs from around the country, including Ryan Prewitt of Peche Seafood in New Orleans, Rodney Scott of Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina, Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats in San Francisco, and more will showcase their takes on unique culinary dishes. (“Nick ’N Friends” will require a separate ticket for admission.) Other cool activities include hands-on metal pouring with the Sloss Metal Arts Program and a collaboration with the American Poster Institute to showcase the work of some of today’s most relevant poster makers; lots of local artists will be on-site, too.
Sloss Fest urges you to bring sunglasses; sunscreen; an empty, refillable water bottle; a camera and/or cell phone, and a hula hoop to the festival. They ask that you don’t bring any weapons or illegal substances of any kind, alcohol, chairs, outside food or beverages, pets, coolers, or bad attitudes. You can find a complete list of do-and-don’t things to bring plus lots more info about the festival at slossfest.com, and you can purchase tickets by visiting the website. Any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sloss Fest in a word? Legendary. “First and foremost, [we wanted] to showcase Sloss Furnaces and its incredible history and significance to the City of Birmingham. Secondly, we realized the city is changing right before our eyes in a positive way, so we wanted to put together a festival that reflected that progressive, forward movement,” Wilson says. “Where else can you rock out to Modest Mouse or Cage The Elephant at a historic blast furnace and have live iron pouring demonstrations