The secret’s out! Secret Stages 2021 lineup announced

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dazz & brie secret stages 2019
Secret Stages puts the spotlight on undiscovered artists. Photo via David A. Smith for Secret Stages.

One of Birmingham’s best-kept secrets just went public. The Secret Stages lineup was announced today, and I’m genuinely impressed. The bill for this year includes quality rap, rock, country and more. We listened to all the artists on this year’s lineup and chose our favorites. 

What is Secret Stages?

The Secret Stages lineup is AMAZING this year! Photo courtesy of Secret Stages
The Secret Stages lineup is AMAZING this year! Photo courtesy of Secret Stages

Secret Stages is a two-day music discovery festival that highlights underexposed Alabama and national artists. More than anything, it’s a celebration of Birmingham’s thriving music scene.

Secret Stages is held in the iconic Avondale neighborhood. All of the festival’s venues are within walking distance of each other.

Secret Stages is on August 6 & 7 this year. You can purchase tickets here.

Here are some of the artists I’m most excited to see this year!

Becca Mancari

Becca Mancari’s “Hunter” is a compelling video and song. Photo via Becca Mancari’s YouTube

With her mellow yet enchanting indie pop, Becca Mancari makes my list for personal favorites at Secret Stages this year. Mancari’s most recent album, The Greatest Part explores being gay in a fundamentalist Christian household. Mancari also played a sold out tour with Brittany Howard as a part of the supergroup Bermuda Triangle. I can’t wait to hear Mancari’s impressive body of work in person.

Armand Hammer

Armand Hammer collaborated with legendary producer The Alchemist for their latest album, Haram. Video via Armand Hammer’s YouTube.

Armand Hammer is a big win for Secret Stages. The rap duo recently collaborated with legends like Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist. They combine a powerful flow with stirring imagery, thereby creating accessible poetry. Armand Hammer stands out from other rappers focused on streams rather than quality. I’m sure the duo’s show will be beautiful and thought-provoking.

The Blips

Throw Me Around is one of my favorite songs to come out of Bham this year. Photo via The Blips’ YouTube

The Blips are Birmingham’s own rock supergroup. Birmingham legends Taylor HollingsworthWill Stewart, Chris McCauleyWes McDonald and Eric Wallace make up the group of Alabama punks. The quickly emerging band has garnered praise from Rolling Stone India and Little Stevie’s Underground. The Blips put on a loud and energetic show, which will make for an amazing Secret Stages crowd.

Cipherella

I can’t wait to see Cipherella’s dancing in person! Photo via Cipherella’s YouTube

Tuscaloosa born and raised Cipherella sports an old school flow over modern beats. In 2013, Cipherella moved to New York City to solidify herself as an artist. She managed to do just that, and is now a powerful rapper who never doubts her own talent. I bet Cipherella will return to her home state with an empowering and show-stopping performance.

Katie Toupin

So cute! Video via Katie Toupin’s YouTube

As a longtime Houndmouth fan, I was devastated when I learned Katie Toupin left the band. My disappointment didn’t last long, though–Toupin has already released solo work that combines the best of Houndmouth with her own artistry. I love her song Ghost, which combines Toupin’s molasses-smooth voice with airy guitar riffs and synthesizers.

Thelma and the Sleaze

Thelma and the Sleaze reject masculine rock in their video for Pain.”Video via The What of Whom’s YouTube

Thelma and the Sleaze is an infectious celebration of Southern girl rock. After listening to Knife Fight, I’m officially a “creeper,” the band’s affectionate nickname for their fans. In 2019, Thelma and the Sleaze played an impressive 100 shows, gaining fans along the way. I know they’ll find even more creepers at Secret Stages.

Logan Halstead

Logan Halstead is one to watch. Video via Logan the Legend on YouTube

At only 17, Logan Halstead is an incredibly promising musician. He has lyrics and a sound reminiscent of the great Tyler Childers. Halstead sings about the struggles of mountain life and mining, which are both relatable themes here in Birmingham. Head to Halstead’s show for quality country and heartwrenching songwriting. 

I barely scratched the surface of all the amazing acts coming to Secret Stages this year. 24 emerging artists are performing at the can’t-miss festival. See you there!

Who are you excited to see at Secret Stages? Tag @bhamnow and dance with us!

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Libby Foster
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