Welcome to the single greatest weekend of arts, culture, and music Tuscaloosa has ever had. We have music from a local band rising to stardom returning for a huge show, a band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and another that should be), art showcases from the best two art organizations in the area, and that’s just scratching the surface of this weekend’s slate. The 9th Annual Druid City Arts Festival presented by Cadence Bank has finally arrived! Saturday will be a great day of art, entertainment, food, and fun. Below are just a few of the best events going on, but hop over to visittuscaloosa.xyz/events for a full list that includes the NCAA gymnastics regional and Tuscaloosa Titans’ season tip-off.
Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports and Cadence Bank are looking forward to seeing you at the 9th Annual Druid City Arts Festival on Saturday, April 7, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Tuscaloosa’s Government Plaza! DCAF has had rich success in introducing new music and visual artists to Tuscaloosa’s community and has also provided a free day of fun and entertainment for everyone in the past eight years. This year it is going to be bigger and better than ever! Downtown Tuscaloosa will be an entertainment district from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm, so grab a drink and peruse the artwork from artists all over the country. DCAF will feature two-dimensional art, as well as pieces constructed out of clay, fiber, wood, glass, metal, and food. There will also be literature pieces, photography, jewelry, and mixed media. Caleb O’Connor, a local artist, will be on site demonstrating his artwork for everyone to view.
Local Roots, Steel City Pops, La Mexicana, Nothing Bundt Cakes, The Cypress Inn, South Fresh Farms, Jim ‘N Nicks and Chick Fil A are a few of the vendors that will be on site to serve up some delicious food. There will be musical performances all day by many local artists. In addition to the food and music, there will be a kid zone for the children to enjoy. It is going to be a fun community event for the whole family to enjoy. You can check out the list of artists and find out additional information about DCAF by visiting http://www.druidcityartsfestival.com. Be sure to use #DCAF18 and our Snapchat filter when sharing from the event.
Art Night at Kentuck
Art Night at Kentuck is a monthly celebration of art and artists from the local community. Join us at the Kentuck Art Center in Downtown Northport this Thursday night from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in celebrating these artist’s masterpieces. This event is free and open to the public! Come see what Sydney Gruber has been working on in her studio in the Clarke Building! There will be open studios for all of the Kentuck Artists so you can see what we are working on and enjoy the raw creation process.
Kentuck is honored to present a retrospective of work by local living legend Dr. Norman Ellis. A founding member of the Woodworkers Association of West Alabama (WAWA), the 96-year-old still mentors woodworkers in his studio. Ellis’s work consists of whimsical furniture handmade in the Mission style, which features exposed joints and focuses on the natural beauty of the wood used.
It’s the last Art Night to visit The Juneaus’ expansive exhibit of Louisiana art. Pat Juneau and son Andrea create playful metal sculptures that exemplify the culture of Louisiana, while Suzanne and daughter Angelique create one-of-a-kind jewelry using precious and semi-precious stones combined with enameling and precious metals.
Courtyard of Wonders:
Pop-up shops and free cob oven pizza with dough from Mary’s Cakes and Pastries and fresh, locally grown produce from Snow’s Bend Farms. Live music by Jake Sandford and the Jake Sanford Orchestra. Kentuck’s Studio Artists will have open studios for browsing, learning, observing, and purchasing.
Open until 8 pm; members get a 10% discount. Fire Ant and Big Dog members are invited to sample champagne.
To continue with the theme of arts and culture, Friday night is First Friday Art Night. Downtown Tuscaloosa will transform into an entertainment district on Friday night. First Friday is completely free, and the galleries can’t wait to host you. Grab a drink and take a stroll through our magnificent galleries, such as the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Harrison Galleries, The Paul R. Jones Museum, O’Connor Art Studios and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. Visit firstfridaytuscaloosa.com for offerings and hours as they vary by location. This event generally begins at 5:30 and runs to 8 or 9 depending on location.
CBDB at Druid City Music Hall
This will be the funkiest weekend of the whole year, between CBDB and Parliament-Funkadelic, and the hometown heroes CBDB get first crack at funking you up on Friday night. This band is on the road to stardom and have a chance to define Tuscaloosa’s music culture in a way R.E.M. did for Athens, GA. This group has a big sound, great writing, and create the type of atmosphere at a show that you have to experience. Our favorite is Pschabongo and gets played on repeat around the Visit Tuscaloosa offices. They have played at many major festivals with high profile bands and will be blowing the lid off of Druid City Music Hall before embarking on a national tour with stops in DC, New York, and Philiadelphia. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the music begins at 9:00 pm.Visit druidcitymusichall.com to purchase tickets to witness the Tuscaloosa’s premier band, and preorder their upcoming album “Out of Line” on itunes or look for it on Spotify May 5.
George Clinton, Parliament-Funkadelic, Morris Day & The Time, and Sheila E will be funking up the Coca-Cola concert series “Funkaloosa.” The Parliament-Funkadelic collective has been around since the late 60’s and has been among America’s greatest funk icons for 50 years and included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Morris Day and Sheila E joining them makes this an all around incredible show that should not be missed under any circumstances. The doors open at 5:30 pm with the funky beats blasting from 7:00 pm until the funk is within you. This is the type of music that has to be experienced live to be truly heard. To purchase tickets visit ticketmaster.com. #WeWantTheFunk
Styx and Reo Speedwagon have teamed up and they will be rockin’ with special guest Don Felder on Sunday at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. The music begins at 7:00 pm and will have you groovin’ all night long. To purchase tickets visit the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater’s website.
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This weekend is packed with fine arts in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Tonight you can head across the river to Kentuck for their Art Night! In the main gallery, you’ll be able to observe the sculpture work of Charlie Lucas! Not only that, but there will be pop-up shops for local artists, demonstrations, cob oven pizza, and live music! Art Night has been a staple for the first Thursday night of each month!
On Friday, it’s downtown Tuscaloosa’s turn with the First Friday Art Crawl! Galleries, studios, and businesses across downtown will be open and participating in the art crawl including Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. First Friday is completely free to everyone and is filled with excitement! There will be live music at different venues and some incredible works of art!
On Saturday morning you can swing by the Tuscaloosa River Market for the Farmer’s Market! Vendors set up ripe red tomatoes and famous Chilton County peaches. Musicians sit propped up against the door, playing guitars as you walk in, and local Food Trucks, bakers, artists, and craftsmen gather here to sell their gourmet grub, fresh-baked yeast rolls, homemade jams and jellies and hand-carved cutting boards.
All of this art is leading up to the main event – Druid City Arts Festival! This event will feature over 90 artists selling beautiful work! Anything from pottery to paintings will be sold in Government plaza while live music and the smells of freshly cooked food fill the air! Headlining DCAF is Matt Jones, a country musician destined for greatness. Local Roots, Tea Town, Jim N’ Nicks, and plenty of other vendors will be serving food and drinks all night long! Most importantly, it’s an entertainment district so you can get a drink from your favorite surrounding establishment and bring it over to the festival with you!
Finally, wrap up your night by heading to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater for their first show of the season! The amphitheater will be featuring a pair of contemporary gospel acts with Mary Mary and Tasha Cobbs! The Mary Mary duo is often credited along with Kirk Franklin for broadening the fan base of urban contemporary gospel in the 2000s by introducing elements of soul music, hip hop, funk, and jazz. Tasha Cobbs breaks the gospel charts nearly every time she releases an album as 2 of her singles and one EP have all hit no. 1!
While wandering through downtown Tuscaloosa or UA’s Campus, you might have spotted the colorful posters for our Druid City Arts Festival on April 8th!
The posters are not promising too much – quite the opposite! That festival will be even more colorful and staggering and is an inevitable must-do for the upcoming weekend. Here are our top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t miss it:
1. Local Artists
The local art scene in Tuscaloosa has been growing year after year and it’s always exciting to give it one of its biggest stages every year DCAF! More than 80 artists from Tuscaloosa and abroad will exhibit their work this year, including contemporary as well as traditional and heritage craft, contemporary art and sculptures. Throughout DCAF’s history, undiscovered and ascending artists have shown their work at the festival who are now exhibiting in galleries or museums! The impressively creative and unique art, therefore, is the first good reason to visit the Druid City Arts Festival!
2. Food Vendors
What kind of festival would leave you without a great offer of food variety? Not this one at least! DCAF is starring some incredible food trucks & stations to satisfy your hunger and thirst on a lovely Spring day! A special highlight will be Local Roots, a Tuscaloosa food truck that is just garnering some local fame with its original dishes and local ingredients. Meat lovers won’t be disappointed by Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar B Que, Chick-Fil-A, and many others. Tea Town will add some great specialties to drink!
3. Live Music
Alongside treating your eyes and taste buds, DCAF will also gladden your ears! The music lineup for DCAF is filled with incredible artists! Alabama Blues Project will open the stage in the morning with some homemade authentic blues. The afternoon will be rocked by the local group Drum Nation with their sweeping performances! This group is headlined by singer Matt Jones. The local artist just came out with a new album “Redemption” and is a phenomenal country singer!
4. It’s Free
An additional plus of DCAF is that it is absolutely free! That means you enjoy all the great art, food, music and fun without any extra costs. At this point it is a clear case: You have to visit Druid City Arts Festival!
5. Family event
Wait, you already have an appointment with your family or friends on April 8th? Even better, just get everyone together and come over to DCAF! The festival is a perfect event for families and has a lot of fun planned for the little ones! For example, the T-Town Bounce castles will be inflated and a whole Home Depot Children’s Festival area in the middle of the plaza! There’s nearly no need to mention that there is at least as much fun for the adults as well if not more! hanging out outdoors with live music, art vendors, amazing food, and drinks – we don’t need to say anymore!
Written By: Katharina Horvath – Intern
We have some incredible events going on around Tuscaloosa with great music, delicious food, and plenty of excitement! From 80s icons to foodie favorites, there’s something for everyone this spring to get outside and enjoy T-Town!
Food Truck Fest March 25th
The rapidly growing food truck scene in town has brought back last summer’s hit festival of foodie delights! Food Truck Fest at Band of Brothers will have local darling Local Roots, BBQ icon Archibald, and several others from both T-Town and B’Ham areas!
Dragon Boat Races April 1st
After filling up on some delectable eats April first brings Dragon Boat Races, no fooling! Teams of over 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steerer will compete in this Hong Kong style water race on the Black Warrior.
First Annual Roots Fest April 1st
The Local Roots food truck has been a recent staple in the Tuscaloosa community! This year kicks off their first ever Roots Fest that will feature live music from Adam Hood, a whole smoked pig, local produce, and a great time!
Sassafras Beer Festival April 1st
Breweries from throughout Alabama will try to win your vote for the ‘Best of Alabama’ Sassafras Beer Festival Award. Head to Wilhagan’s to try them all and choose your favorite! With great music, unlimited* beer samples, and raffle prizes, this is sure to be a great event!
Druid City Arts Festival April 8th
Free and open to the public, local artists, live music, and even more food trucks will all come together at the plaza downtown to celebrate art. The art and artisans will showcase their talents while you can enjoy the beautiful outdoors of downtown, and sample great food from the growing scene around the plaza!
Death by Chocolate April 20th
On the 20th you’ll feel more bitter than sweet if you miss out on the Annual Death by Chocolate Tournament at the river market! Right after filling up on some sweet cocoa, your crimson sweet tooth will be pleased with A-Day following the day after!
A-Day April 21st
Come out and get some preseason autographs, hit up your favorite game day spots, and watch the two greatest teams in college football play each other as the crimson take on the white at Bryant-Denny!
USAT Triathlon April 21st
Come out and see these impressive athletes compete in the Collegiate Club National Championships in a rigorous triathlon through the Black Warrior. Starting at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, these ambitious men and women will swim through the Black Warrior, bike and run through the druid city towards winning the Championship!
Volkfest April 22nd
Willkommen to a little bit of Germany in the druid city at the second annual Volksfest on April 22nd! There will be live music, German-style food, and locally brewed German style beers to turn government plaza into our own Deutsche partei. After that, shake off the pretzel salt on the 29th with the Mayor’s Cup!
Mayor’s Cup April 29th
Run through downtown in either the 5k or 10k run to benefit the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative. It’s great healthy way to see a different side of the city and support a great local cause!
Def Leppard & Poison May 2nd
May means music in Tuscaloosa. Starting on the 2nd get ready for some 80s nostalgia with iconic bands Def Leopard and Poison hitting the stage the Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre.
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds May 3rd
Then bring your favorite 90s kid on the 3rd for some Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds at the amphitheater. The duo has been performing acoustic sets as a side project since 1993!