I-95 travelers are familiar with Savannah, Ga., as an attachment to a cardinal direction – another city often passed by on the east coast’s longest straightaway. The Stopover Music Festival aims to change that for music listeners, bringing over 100 bands to 11 venues across downtown Savannah Thursday through Saturday.
This year’s headliners exhibit how much this festival has grown in only three years: of Montreal has graced the stages of the country’s biggest music festivals – Bonnaroo, Coachella and Sasquatch!, to name a few; Chelsea Light Moving features the rock sensibilities of Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore; and Georgia’s own The Whigs continue to tour their take on garage rock nationally. Their star power mixed with the dozens of other acts sprawled across local bars allows Stopover to appeal to those familiar with the layout and feel of SXSW while still maintaining a regional appeal through the inclusion of local bands.
South Carolina bands are well represented in the lineup, three of which we’re extremely familiar with (there might be others we don’t know of – if you’re one, let us know). Columbia instrumental post-rock group Pan plays Thursday night at Club One at 10 p.m., the first of many tour stops as they progress on to Austin to play SXSW March 15. Friday night sees both Charleston’s Heyrocco and Columbia’s Ned Durrett and the Kindly Gents take the stage, Heyrocco at Taco Abajo at 6 p.m. and Durrett at Congress St. Social Club at 5 p.m. Heyrocco is coming off of the January release of their single, “Elsewhere,” which is available free as a part of year’s Scene SC sampler. The Gents have been recording at Columbia’s Archer Avenue Studio for their first full-length, due out late Spring.
While they don’t claim the Palmetto State, Stopover performers Kopecky Family Band and Les Racquet both have ties to the area. Kopecky singer/guitarist Gabe Simon hails from Greenville, S.C. and Les Racquet recently played brought their improv-based rock to a house show at Columbia’s Moonhouse.
Even if you’re not familiar with the bands on the lineup, some of them have names intriguing enough that I’m likely going to have to go check them out. Examples: Diarrhea Planet, Whisky Dick, Damon and the Shitkickers, Whaleboat and Roadkill Ghost Choir. My biggest dilemma will come Saturday night at 9 p.m. when Sharks? and Bear Fight! are playing at the same time on different stages. Also – really hoping The Accomplices is the remaining members of The Heist and The Accomplice, sadly without Chaz.
Tickets for all three days of music are $75, with a three-day VIP option (which gets you access to the artist’s lounge, a VIP reception and after parties) available for $120. Since all listeners weren’t created equal, Stopover has a variety of ticket options for patrons of different ages and speeds. Since some of the 11 venues are 21+ only, they offer a three-day Under 21 pass for $50. For those who can’t/don’t want to stay all weekend, one-day passes are available for $30 a day. Tickets can be purchased online at www.savannahstopover.com/tickets/.
For more information, visit www.savannahstopover.com, email the festival at email@example.com or call them directly at (478) 254-0888.
Disclaimer: The author is a member of Ned Durrett and the Kindly Gents. He reserved no biases in the writing of this article.