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Posted by on Dec 29, 2008 in blog | 0 comments

City Stages – Music Festival in Birmingham, Alabama


City Stages was a three-day, family-friendly, arts and music festival in downtown Birmingham, Alabama that took place in and around Linn Park
from 1989 to 2009. City Stages featured 150 to 200 acts from hip hop to
country on 9 to 11 stages. Many of the world’s renowned performers and
musicians made appearances at City Stages during the festival’s 20-year
history. After losses in 2009 amounted to nearly half a million dollars,
the organization running City Stages announced on June 25, 2009 that
the event would not return the next year.[wiki]


City Stages was started in 1989 by former Alabama Lieutenant Governor George McMillan and a group of civic leaders who wanted to start a downtown music festival that would promote Birmingham’s City Center as part of that year’s Alabama Reunion.
By all accounts those goals were met, as the festival’s early success
is credited with reestablishing the downtown area as a vibrant and
pleasant district. In the years since City Stages began, several other
festivals have been launched downtown. McMillan’s firm, McMillan
Associates managed and promoted the festival.


City Stages grew rapidly in its first five years from a small
regional festival to a world-renowned music event. At its peak, the
festival featured 13 stages and performance areas over a 13 block area.

In 2001, organizers of the festival moved the festival to May to have
more flexibility in booking acts that normally have their own summer
tour plans. Unfortunately, rainstorms drowned out the failed three-year
experiment, and the festival racked up nearly a half million dollars in
debt. The organizers have since moved the festival back to Father’s Day
weekend, the third weekend of June, and scaled down the number of acts,
focusing on bigger-name headliners. 2004′s festival was a success,
allowing the organizers to retire some of its debt. As of February 2005,
City Stages signed the Vines & Waldrep law firm as the festival’s
first title sponsor, changing the official name to Vines & Waldrep City Stages. However in 2006, the name changed again to “Waldrep Stewart & Kendricks, LLC City Stages Presented by Lanny Vines & Associates, LLC”

Held in the middle of June, City Stages is a world-class music festival that has more than 150 acts on 9 stages spanning three days.  In fact, American Idol has uncovered Birmingham’s musical talent with winners Rueben Studdard and Taylor Hicks, and runner-up Bo Bice.  Who knows, maybe Idol will dip into the Birmingham well yet again in 2011! 

Past performers include:

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