Ultimate guide to Birmingham’s Freedom Fest. 12 acts. ‘Funnymaine’, American Idol’s Ruben Studdard and more

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You don’t want to miss this one. The first ever Birmingham Freedom Fest – a new music festival – will take place in the Birmingham Civil Rights District, Saturday, July 27. Here’s what you can expect and why you need to go.

For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit www.freedomfestbhm.com. Tickets are also available at JB’s House of Fashion, 1630 Third Ave. West.

The full day and evening celebration will feature national recording artists such as Southern rap legends 8 Ball and MJG, R&B icon Midnight Star, legendary neo-soul superstar Musiq Soulchild, Birmingham’s own Ruben Studdard and Alvin Garrett and many more. Birmingham comedian FunnyMaine Johnson will host the main stage, which will be located at Fifth Avenue North and 16th Street North.

Grammy-nominated hip-hop soul artist Musiq Soulchild will take center stage on the evening of Freedom Fest. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Freedom Fest

In addition to established artists, up-and-coming artists will also get their moment in the spotlight. Rising Birmingham singer Love Moor will be showcased, along with the winner of an online competition that featured six talented local performers. The artist with the winning number of votes will perform during a set that evening.

“Festival organizers wanted to create an event that showcased the talent in our city and beyond,’’says Mayor Randall Woodfin. “Highlighting what is developing right here in our backyard, shows other up-and-coming creatives just what is possible if you work hard and put in the work. The hope is that Freedom Fest becomes an event that not only entertains, but also empowers.’’

Gates will open at 10 a.m. and the first acts will start around 12 p.m. The main entrance will be at Sixth Avenue North and 18th Street North. There will also be food trucks and food vendors. The hashtag for the event, which will be held rain or shine, is #FreedomFestBhm.

American Idol Ruben Studdard. Photo courtesy Birmingham Freedom Fest

“We are excited about this unique convergence of entertainment and empowerment. From the speakers, the music and the beauty of our city’s culture the festival will provide a live experience celebrating Birmingham’s spirit and purpose,” said Festival Producer Rashada LeRoy of LRY Media Group.

Lawn chairs will be allowed, but attendees should know there is a bag policy, said LeRoy. Backpacks and purses, will not be allowed. However, clear bags will be. Lawn chairs carried in holders will be subject to a search.

Parking will be available on area downtown streets; in Deck #7 at 18th Street North near Fifth Avenue North; and at the Boutwell deck. Parking at the two decks will be $10.

Performance times

12:05 PM – Festival opens with Kristen Glover, Alvin Garrett and the 205 Unity Choir
12:15 PM – Alvin Garrett
1:30 PM – DanI
2:05 PM – Riah2Crucial
2:30PM – Ruben Studdard
4:00 PM – Love Moor
5:30 PM – Midnight Star
6:30 PM –  Chrinway
7:00 PM – Translee
8:50 PM – Musiq Soulchild
9:35 PM – 8Ball & MJG

Birmingham comedian Jermaine “Funnymaine’’ Johnson will keep the laughs coming at Freedom Fest he hosts the main stage.

Along with the music will be eight thought-provoking discussions, workshops and forums.

Don’t miss it

More than a music festival, don’t miss Freedom Fest on July 27. Check out the entire lineup and make plans to attend. Get your tickets – HERE

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