For decades, many locals have not paid much attention to Brookley Aeroplex. Then Airbus came around. The aircraft manufacturer’s arrival has the potential to once again fill this largely dormant airfield with people and businesses, but in a couple of months, a new event promises to bring people and attention to the complex and not for economic development purposes.

Big & Rich will be among the headliners of the inaugural Mobile AeroFest.

Big & Rich will be among the headliners of the inaugural Mobile AeroFest.

From March 20-21, Mobile AeroFest will be landing at Brookley. The new festival not only promises to bring a wide selection of musical acts and entertainment, but will also generate income for the Independence Fund, which assists service men and women who have been injured in battle both physically and mentally. Further, the festival will host a Titan FC championship fight, an education fair, a career fair and a business symposium.

Since the festival was announced several months ago, I have been quite curious about what the lineup would include. Last Friday, AeroFest shed a little light on the subject, unveiling a surprisingly varied and talented schedule of musicians.

Big & Rich will return to Mobile as the festival’s major headliner, but the lineup includes Matisyahu, Dawes, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Cowboy Troy, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Dumpstaphunk, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Zoogma, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band, The Whigs, Soul Rebels, Rosco Bandana, Honey Island Swamp Band, Matthew Curry, Futurebirds, The Heard, Steve Gunn, Generationals, 88 Ultra (Kingston of BSBD), Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Ryley Walker, Nick & the Ovorols and Horse Thief.

While all aspects of the festival are quite notable, AeroFest also plans on being one of the most technologically advanced festivals in the world. An attendee’s entry bracelet will serve as an interactive key to many festival enhancements.

Those in attendance will have the option of making AeroFest a cashless experience. Funds can be loaded onto the bracelet for purchases during the festival. After a purchase is made, festival-goers will have the chance to review their purchases online and see exactly how much of their money is going to the Independence Fund.

When bracelets are purchased, festival-goers will also answer a questionnaire. From the sponsor’s booths to the expo, their input will shape their festival experience. For example, those interested in the career fair will have the chance to upload their resume. When they approach a business featured at the career fair, their resume can be instantly accessed.

AeroFest will also feature other unique technological perks. For example, attendees will also have a chance to create a personalized video of their AeroFest experience that can be featured on their social media page. When attendees choose this option, their bracelet can be detected by video cameras throughout the festival. At the end of each day, festival goers can visit a sponsored area where their video will be compiled and provided for posting online.

General admission tickets are on sale now at One day general admission tickets are $30, while weekend passes are $45. Those wanting to attend the festival will also have the option of paying extra to experience the Titan FC Championship fight card. VIP options are also available.