Step back in time, venture to space, and celebrate community creativity at this year’s Panoply Arts Festival.
What: Panoply Arts Festival
Where: Big Spring Park
When: April 26 – 28, 2019
North Alabama’s celebration of art, music and more returns April 26th – 28th to downtown Huntsville’s Big Spring Park. On Tuesday, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong joined Arts Huntsville board, volunteers and staff at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau to announce details about the upcoming three-day festival.
Panoply kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26th, showcasing nearly 40 local and regional musical acts, including internationally recognized and critically acclaimed bands and musicians, the Art Marketplace, STEAM Street and Bicentennial Village interactives and community art projects, craft beer, festival food, select local food trucks and more.
Featured Music: This year Arts Huntsville welcomes nearly 40 music performances to the Panoply stages, 16 of which are new to the festival, including Deni, LaFrancis Vibes, Liquid Redemption, and DMRSoul.
Friday night kicks off with performances by La Francis Vibes on the Indie Stage and Zach Ray on the Showcase Stage. To close out the night, Panoply welcomes back Nashville soul-pop band The News Respects, who got the Panoply crowds dancing in the park last year. This throwback rock and soul quartet was named “10 artists you need to know” by Rolling Stone Magazine and they’ve recently released their second studio album, Before the Sun Goes Down.
Saturday will showcase local and regional talent throughout the day, kicking off with nerd-rock band Foot Pound Force on the Indie Stage, sponsored by Buffalo Rock, and Deni on the Showcase Stage, sponsored by Publix Supermarket Charities and media partner Rocket City Broadcasting.
Saturday night, Huntsville’s Josh Allison Band will open for the evening’s headlining act. Josh & Judy’s harmony-rich songs have earned them Writers Night spots at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville for the past three years as well as local songwriter showcases such as Listen Local Huntsville and the esteemed Jim Parker Songwriter Showcase.
Saturday closes out with a night of “bayou soul” from Louisiana singer-songwriter Marc Broussard. Rolling Stone Magazine describes Marc as “a soulful Americana performer” who is known for his “signature blues-influenced howl with doses of gospel and country.” Marc has toured with the Zac Brown Band, Willie Nelson, Maroon 5, and Gavin DeGraw and has been featured on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brian, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Marc is the son of Louisiana Music Hall of Fame guitarist Ted Broussard, and has continued on his father’s legacy. His music is a mix of funk, blues, rock and pop, with distinct southern roots. Marc will release his latest live album, “Home: The Dockside Sessions” on April 4th.
On Sunday, Panoply celebrates a day of Alabama Music, featuring a full-day lineup of artists from North Alabama, from musicians who are just starting to make their mark on the local music scene to artists who have audiences around the world.
On Sunday evening, Panoply will welcome Florence’s own Grammy Award-winning artist, John Paul White, to close out the festival on the Showcase Stage. John Paul White, formerly of duo The Civil Wars, launched his solo career in 2016 with the album Beulah. He is co-owner and founder of Single Lock Records in Florence, Alabama. His sound appeals to fans of indie rock, Americana music, and folk. In early April he will be releasing his latest album, The Hurting Kind.
You can listen to a playlist of this year’s Panoply Arts Festival musicians at artshuntsville.org
Art Marketplace: The Art Marketplace, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, provides prime shopping in a beautiful setting in and around the spring. This year the juried Art Marketplace will welcome more than 100 visual artists. One of the most popular features of the festival, this year’s Art Marketplace will welcome artists from 19 states, with some traveling from as far as Oregon and North Dakota to join us in Big Spring Park. Nearly half of this year’s artists come from across the state of Alabama.
Arts in Action and Community Art: Regional artists will offer demonstrations of their crafts at Panoply’s Arts in Action tents, where festivalgoers can get a first-hand look at the process of indigo dying, quilting, screen-printing, and mosaic. Festivalgoers of all ages will also get to stretch their creative muscles with hands-on community art activities. First Baptist Church will be returning to Panoply again this year with more tiles from the iconic Cosmic Christ mosaic. Together with festivalgoers, they’ll create a new mosaic based on Van Gogh’s “Starry Starry Night” to be placed at the US Space and Rocket Center after the festival.
Panoply Poster Artist: Each year, Arts Huntsville commissions an artist to create a piece of art that captures the spirit of the festival and the community. This year’s Panoply Poster Artist is Lowe Mill artist Chris Wade. Chris’s vibrant imagination is displayed through his detailed and distinctive paintings of rockets and the galaxy. While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design, Chris discovered his love of watercolor and ink painting. It was there, through the prompt of a professor, that he began creating what is now his signature work – depicting the abandoned rockets with trees growing through and around them that kept popping up in his dreams. He has since had two museum shows, including the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, and was the featured artist for the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop.
“On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate artist to capture our community’s creative and innovative spirit than Chris Wade,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Arts Huntsville Executive Director. “His ethereal, surrealist take on rockets and space perfectly capture how our STEM and art communities intertwine here in Huntsville and North Alabama.”
Chris will be selling his original paintings at Panoply Arts Festival, and festivalgoers will be able to purchase merchandise featuring his artwork at the Panoply Stores at the festival. Arts Huntsville will also be offering a limited number of signed posters for the public to purchase.
Hands-on Activities: Panoply’s STEAM Street, sponsored by Region’s Bank, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landing with space-themed activities:
- MDA’s Rocket Rules! Sponsored by RUAG Space USA – Using plastic tubes, festivalgoers will create rockets to investigate trajectory, weight and balance and center of gravity and test their designs. They will also learn how scientists and engineers use filters to identify different energies of light to learn more about materials and physical objects.
- Huntsville STEAMworks’ Launch Pad, sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing – After making their very own rocket from straws and cardstock, festivalgoers will be able to launch them in the park.
- DAU’s Cosmic Coms – Festivalgoers will learn how astronauts talk to us from the moon when sound can’t travel through space. Explore amplitude, frequency, and phase to discover how they used radio waves to move voices, music, and data through the vacuum of space.
- Janet’s Planets and HAL5’s “What’s Your Mission?” sponsored by National Space Club – Every space mission is unique and has its own unique patch designed by the astronauts. Festivalgoers can get creative to design their very own mission patch.
- Huntsville Ballet’s Dancing Planets, sponsored by Avadian Credit Union– Festivalgoers will learn about rotation and revolution in both the solar system and ballet.
Also along STEAM Street, festivalgoers can view the US Space and Rocket Center’s Rockets on Parade – a celebration of NASA’s next great spacecraft, the SLS Rocket. With dozens of rockets decorated and displayed by companies from across the Tennessee Valley, festival goers will see a creative interpretation of NASA’s upcoming journey into space.
In celebration of Alabama’s 200th birthday Panoply will create the ultimate Alabama bicentennial experience at the Panoply Bicentennial Village, sponsored by Boeing. This area will feature Panoply’s creative community art projects, all with a historical twist:
- Big Spring Boats – The historic recreation of Ditto Landing’s ferry boat will be on-site at Panoply 2019 for festivalgoers to visit and learn about opportunities for ferry rides along the Tennessee River. Festivalgoers will also get to create their own cork boats to try out on the water at home.
- Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild Discover Music, sponsored by Parkway Place Mall – The Symphony Guild’s popular “Discover Music” experience always introduces young people to musical instruments at Panoply. In 2019, Arts Huntsville is working with volunteers to incorporate a historical perspective to include historical instruments and music of the period to “Discover Music” from 1819 to 2019.
- Lily Flagg Moo Masks, sponsored by Davidson Technologies – Celebrate Huntsville’s beloved bovine, Lily Flagg. Festivalgoers can create and decorate fun festival masks in honor of Lily Flagg.
- Historic Downtown Huntsville Mini City, sponsored by Aero Thermo Technology – Using historic images of downtown Huntsville, festivalgoers can recreate our historic downtown from the early 1800s using recycled painted boxes. This activity serves as a living history and urban design lesson created by the community during the festival.
- Huntsville Botanical Garden Guild’s Plants and Native American Art – Volunteers from Huntsville Botanical Garden Guild are identifying historic plants native to Alabama in the 1800s. Festivalgoers will take home a piece of living history to plant in their home garden, while learning about our region’s prehistoric Native American art.
Military Salute Night: Another Panoply tradition continues on Friday, April 26th. Military Salute Night, sponsored by Dynetics, will welcome active duty military, Armed Forces reserves and their dependents to the park for a free evening of entertainment.
Panoply Beer and Festival Food: Festivalgoers can enjoy local tastes along with Panoply’s diverse array of art and music. The popular Craft Beer Tent returns, featuring beer from breweries across the region. This year it will once again feature a special Panoply Beer, brewed specifically for the festival by long-time festival partner Straight To Ale. Panoply will also showcase a great assortment of festival food and food trucks.
Festival Seating: Enjoy music and performances at three outdoor stages with open-air seating. Festival patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on as they enjoy the lineup of Panoply performers. You can also purchase branded festival chairs in the Panoply Stores.
Fireworks: Friday and Saturday night end the night with a stunning fireworks display sponsored by Delta Research.
Tickets: Arts Huntsville is once again offering a Panoply weekend pass available online in advance for just $18. The pass offers an affordable way to enjoy Panoply’s diverse entertainment all weekend. Weekend passes are only available until 4:00 p.m. on April 26, 2019. Day passes are $10 and can be purchased in advance online or at the festival ticket booths, sponsored by Redstone Federal Credit Union. Tickets are on sale now at artshuntsville.org. Children 12 and under are free of charge.
Panoply Arts Festival will be held April 26-28, 2019.
Panoply’s hours are:
Friday, April 26 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Art Marketplace closes at 7:30 p.m.)
Sunday, April 28 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
For more information, volunteer sign ups and to purchase tickets, visit artshuntsville.org. Follow Arts Huntsville on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates leading up to Panoply Arts Festival.
Courtesy of Arts Huntsville