We’ll probably have even more Savannah Stopover 2016 photos posted on Facebook in the coming months, but there are a ton there as of this week.
Our contributors Petee Worrell, Sarah Weitman, and Caila Brown were all working officially for Stopover (see some of their best shots in our post here), and Tom has included a ton of his shots in his festival wrap-up post. Four of us also teamed up on a gallery of especially exciting acts headed to SXSW.
I’ve already posted a smattering of photos documenting day 1, day 2, and day 3 (also you can see separate galleries of Family and Friends and Rainbow Kitten Surprise), but I took a ton more photos than I’ve posted on the blog. So, the question that every photographer answers differently: how many should I post to the hissing lawns Facebook page?
I saw over 40 bands, so I’d have huge galleries even if I just posted a couple of shots of each act. Since so many bands enjoy having more than a couple of photos of themselves, and since Facebook galleries are relatively easy to navigate, I’ve posted most of what turned out ok. Here’s day 1, with more photos and commentary after the jump:
If you attended Stopover, you’ve probably already noticed that I missed several of the headliners. I got a couple of shots of Ra Ra Riot, but I was honestly more excited to get over to Trinity to hear Quiet Hollers from Louisville (great set), and on Friday night I had multiple priorities — including Heaters and Wild Powwers — that kept me from catching up with Blitzen Trapper (whom I saw a couple of years ago and love). I wasn’t really into Yuck’s latest album, to be honest, so I decided my midnight slot would be better spent at Honduras, whom I’d kill to see again soon. I am definitely a Futurebirds fan — Hotel Parties is an awesome album — but I’ve been lucky to see the Athens-based band a few times in recent years, so on Saturday night I got sidetracked by The Britanys, a great up-and-coming foursome.
Stopover needs to bring in the headliners to get some folks to come out, and it seems like the festival was a huge success financially, with really big crowds for some shows at venues like Ships of the Sea and Trinity United Methodist. But I appreciate the festival most for the chance to see and hear acts that are new to me, new to Savannah, and in some cases new to much of the music world. I’m not sure the average Savannah music fan realizes just what kind of work Kayne and Peter at MusicFile Productions have been doing. Just consider bookings like the 2015 Stopover afternoon sets by Margo Price, who recently appeared on SNL, and Adia Victoria, who is among the acts booked for Shaky Knees. Not long after their 2016 Stopover set, PWR BTTM did a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR and will be opening soon for the return of The Dresden Dolls. I could go on and on.
And if you haven’t checked out MusicFile’s late spring club bookings, they’re awesome too — click here.
The Savannah Stopover venues have varied some from year to year, but I’d say this year’s mix was the best yet. The Morris Center and Knights of Columbus, large spots used in previous years, are great, but they were just far enough from the West Congress Street corridor to hurt the festival’s pub crawl nature. According to Google Maps, it’s just 3/10ths of a mile walk from Ships of the Sea to Trinity (although it feels farther when you’re carrying a drink), so it was easy to bounce back and forth from the largest to the smallest venues. I sure missed having Hang Fire as a venue, but the outdoor patio at The Rail picked up a surprising amount of the slack.
As a photographer, I’d make some changes to the lighting at every single venue besides Ships of the Sea, but the sound this year was, with few exceptions, excellent, and only a few times did venues completely fill — that’s another positive outcome of having a couple of large spaces like Ships and Trinity.
The 2017 Savannah Stopover is scheduled for March 9th to 11th.