After only two years, Revival Fest has established itself as one of the best single days of music in Savannah. The 2015 festival is slated for September 12th at the Georgia State Railroad Museum (commonly called The Roundhouse around town).
The old paint shop on the western edge of the property, on the bluff above Boundary Street, provides a perfect setting for the event, which has two stages (one inside, one outside) and runs from noon to 11 p.m. It’s quite a setup — one band finishes, the Sweet Thunder Strolling Band (yes, they’re back) will play a song or two, and then another band begins playing at the alternate stage.
By the way, Revival Fest is yet another effort from MusicFile Productions, which is also the parent company of Savannah Stopover.
The exciting lineup for the 3rd annual festival includes a few acts that have already proven extremely popular in Savannah — like Southern Culture On The Skids, Christopher Paul Stelling, and Those Darlins — and also boasts some excellent musicians that have never played here (as far as I know), most notably the recently reinvigorated Fruit Bats and Parker Millsap. The three local bands are really strong too: Missionary Blues, Paving Gravy, and the aforementioned Sweet Thunder Strolling Band, which bandleader Andrew Hartzell named in honor of the late Ben Tucker.
As noted in the press release, the 2015 Revival Fest “places a strong emphasis on Southern music and celebrates a variety of genres, from the old school electric blues of Robert Lee Coleman (who played in both Percy Sledge’s and James Brown’s bands) to rising Americana/Folk star Christopher Paul Stelling.” Festival founder Kayne Lanahan said, “We love the juxtaposition of old and new; Southern Culture On The Skids next to Those Darlins; Robert Lee Coleman on the same lineup as 22 year old Parker Millsap. I think it celebrates what’s grounded and real in music today across generations.”
The 2015 festival will also include a pig roast, craft beer, ample bourbon, and various other southern food and drink. A portion of the proceeds will benefit educational programs and exhibits at the nearby Tricentennial Park. Tickets are $35 (Advance/Early Bird), $45 (Regular) and $95 (VIP). Early Bird and VIP tickets are now on sale.
Also, the festival has teamed with Uber “to ensure everyone has a safe, reliable ride to Revival Fest.” You have to download the Uber app and sign up with promo code REVIVALFEST or sign up online for your first ride free (up to $20).
Check out a playlist on Soundcloud.
Fruit Bats — a creation of Eric D. Johnson — was founded in the late 1990s and continued until 2013. The folk rock band, which always seems to have the adjective “influential” next to it, released four albums on Sub Pop Records. Johnson has also been a member of The Shins. After quietly announcing via Instagram that Fruit Bats is coming back to life, Johnson has booked a number of dates through 2015, including supporting My Morning Jacket out West.
Southern Culture On The Skids kicked off the 2015 Savannah Stopover in grand, tacky style — the show was a winner in the Connect’s just-announced Best of Savannah readers’ poll. I’m sure there are plenty of folks anxious for the return trip.
And here’s the rest of the very strong lineup:
- Parker Millsap
- Those Darlins
- Holy Ghost Tent Revival
- Horse Thief
- Christopher Paul Stelling
- Margo & The Pricetags
- Robert Lee Coleman & The Night Owls
- Have Gun, Will Travel
The three Savannah-based acts:
I’m a huge fan of Nashville-based Those Darlins, and it’s pretty exciting that Savannah will get our first taste of up-and-coming Parker Millsap. Christopher Paul Stelling — an intense and hypnotic singer-songwriter — has become a staple of Savannah Stopover. And I know that some of my friends will really appreciate the pure country sound of Margo & The Pricetags. Here are a few various videos and photos. We’ll have a more extended preview as we get closer to the date. Additional acts might still be added.