Benefit for upcoming local music festival

Benefit for upcoming local music festival

A fundraiser for the Druid City Arts Festival will feature bands from Hackberry Records at Little Willie’s starting at 10 p.m. Saturday. There will be a $5 cover charge, which will go towards costs for the festival in March.

The Motions and Sparrow and The Ghost will be playing.

The Druid City Arts Festival is an initiative by Creative Campus to bring attention to local musicians and artists. The festival was the brainchild of Beth Hataway, a Creative Campus intern who is a senior in New College.

Hataway said her idea was to have a festival to showcase local musicians. Now in the final planning stages, the festival, on March 27 in downtown Tuscaloosa, will offer much more than just music.

“People are encouraged to bring their art to showcase and sell, and there will also be a kids activities area,” Hataway said. “Those interested in bringing art must register on the creative campus website,, and bring their own table and/or tent. Students can register to showcase for free.”

As far as music goes, the festival will include many different options.

“There will be a big stage outside, with four or five bands playing,” Hataway said. “We booked Act Of Congress from Birmingham as the headliner.”

Hataway said some downtown bars have partnered with the event as well, and will feature original and local bands that night.

“Something this big does cost a lot, from production to tents to insurance to bands,” Hataway said.

The cost of the festival is the main reason for this Saturday’s benefit, but it is also meant to promote awareness of the event.

This Saturday, the focus will be on the bands from Hackberry Records.

Reed Watson, owner of Hackberry Records, supports local and original music and was excited to get his label involved in the fundraising effort.

“When I heard Creative Campus was planning a festival to support local music, I reached out to them,” Watson said. “Honestly, I just wanted to be a part of something that promotes local artists.”

Watson plays drums for Sparrow and The Ghost and said he enjoys that all members of the band have the same motive: “Music is just what we do.”

Watson is also the manager of The Motions, a band he describes as “a rock and roll band from Columbus, Miss., that makes compelling, melodic, loud, life-affirming music.”

“As a fan, I have a blast at their shows,” Watson added, “They put on an incredible rock and roll show. They are infectious, they are cool.”

Stuart Bond, vocalist and guitarist for Sparrow and The Ghost, said he is happy to play for the fundraiser because of the importance of support in the music community.

“It’s our privilege and duty as an original band to support original music around the city and state,” Bond said.

Bond also said he highly recommends The Motions.

“Their music and charisma… it’s just the entire show itself is out of this world,” Bond said. He added that Saturday night is a “chance to see great music by Hackberry Records, support something original and have a good time.”

Watson said that anyone with doubts about local music should come out Saturday night. “I guarantee they might be surprised,” he said.

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