Sloss Music & Arts Festival 2017 this weekend in Birmingham

Abby Howell

This year’s Sloss Music and Arts Festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16 at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. In its third year, the music and lifestyle festival will feature 40 bands on four stages along with craft beers, cocktails, arts and crafts and classic Birmingham food.

Alabama Shakes will perform songs from their album, “Sound & Color” including, “Shoegaze,” “The Greatest” and “The Gemini.” Lead singer Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell and drummer Steve Johnson all originated in Athens, Alabama.

Run the Jewels, a duo of popular rappers, EL-P + Killer Mike, will make their debut at this year’s Sloss Fest. Their musical alliance and hip-hop has drawn praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, The New York Times and many more. On October 27th, they will release their next offering, RTJ2, and will be on the Jewel Runner Tour in North America to promote the new album this fall. 

Widespread Panic will also perform this weekend. Vocalist and guitarist John “JB” Bell, drummer Todd Nance, percussionist Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz, keyboard player John “JoJo” Hermann and drummer Duane Trucks have been together for over 30 years. During their journey, they have released 12 studio albums and 43 live albums, and have sold more than 3 million copies. They have also exceeded attendance records at major venues in New Orleans and at other Birmingham music festivals. Widespread Panic has already headlined most of the major U.S. festivals, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Phases of the Moon and Gathering of the Vibes. The band has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to honor the group for their composed music. 

Another rapper that will make his appearance at the festival this weekend is Waka Flocka Flame. The Atlanta-based, electronic rapper has released hits like “O Let’s Do It,” “Flockaveli” and “No Hands.” He has also produced and collaborated scores with Gucci Mane, T.I. and Drake. Throughout his career, Waka Flocka has become one of the most active and searched celebrities on social media platforms. His new album, “Turn Up God,” is set for release some time this year. 

A local indie-rock band called Vulture Whale will also be performing at the festival this year. The indie pop/punk funk quartet from Birmingham released their latest album, “Aluminium,” last year.

Along with these artists, more performers such as Spoon, NEEDTOBREATHE, Sun Seeker and Byron the Aquarius will be part of this weekend’s lineup.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at Single-day general admission passes start at $95 and two day general admission passes start at $135. Attendees can also purchase Iron passes that give them access to a special entrance to the festival along with air conditioned tents and private bars. Single-day Iron passes start at $135 and two day Iron passes start at $225.