Though Savannah Stopover is sometimes described as a SXSW spinoff festival, it’s never really felt that way. There are some similarities for sure, bouncing around from bar to bar as music spills over into the musician filled streets, there’s an electric feeling in the air. SXSW these days is filled with established acts who play the festival or debut something fresh, while the new bands play as many shows as possible to fight through the noise. Festivals like Savannah Stopover help those up-and-coming acts create some buzz before they roll into Texas, and the gauntlet of sponsor filled day parties and label/PR showcases which is SXSW. These rising acts are the ones Savannah Stopover thrives on.
It’s not likely you’ll recognize more than a few acts on the Savannah Stopover lineup. Maybe Julien Baker, or Lee Fields, but for the most part the majority of acts are still unknowns to the average listener. If you are familiar, then you’re ahead of the curve. Each year the Savannah Stopover lineup looks better in hindsight. Last year we caught Diet Cig and PWR BTTM play to a relatively intimate crowd. We saw Porches sound perfect in Trinity United Methodist Church, the oldest church in Savannah. We caught Big Thief and Lucy Dacus upstairs in in a Wild Wing, both offering memorable performances whether it be for playing with a busted eardrum like Big Thief did or simply winning over new ears as Dacus continues to do. Each of these bands had a breakthrough year in 2016, and that’s only mentioning a few from last year’s lineup.
It’s hard to tell which of the bands on this year’s lineup that will be, but we can make some good guesses after taking a listen to each one. Maybe you heard Charly Bliss on All Songs Considered, or read one of the many great reviews of Allison Crutchfield’s latest record. Maybe you saw Half Waif open for Pinegrove on tour last year, as Nandi Rose Plunkett pulled double duty playing keys and singing backup in that band while opening the show with her main project. The buzz for many of these artists started building last year and Savannah Stopover always have their finger on the pulse of the right rising acts to book.
Over the next few weeks we’ll preview several must see acts playing Stopover 2017. For now, get a listen for yourself in their curated Spotify playlist.