Local music enthusiasts have waited patiently for the Mobile City Council to decide who will run the historic Saenger Theatre. All the while, the city’s civic leaders have been tabling votes that would create a management partnership between SMG and Huka Entertainment. But finally on Tues., Sept. 17, the Mobile City Council unanimously approved the joint management between these two entities.

For A.J. Niland of Huka Entertainment, the agreement means he will once again be able to put on shows in “a great room.” He also has a promising vision for this classic LoDa venue.

“I want to see it get back to where it was five to six years ago,” Niland said. “I want it to be full of life and the heartbeat of downtown.”

Lagniappe asked Niland if he had any big announcements as far as upcoming shows are concerned. At the time, he was unable to reveal who he plans to bring to the Saenger.

“The slowdown in the contract process put a bit of a delay on these announcements, but we look forward to rolling out quite a few shows in the coming weeks,” Niland said.

The Alabama Shakes have already been scheduled for Dec. 8.


Just when the Gulf Coast catches its breath from BayFest, the National Shrimp Festival (Oct. 10-13) hits the Alabama coast. The festival is celebrating 42 years of bringing the nation to Gulf Shores to honor Alabama’s most famous crustacean.

In addition to delectable seafood and displays from local artists, the National Shrimp Festival is also known for bringing some of the best and brightest in musical entertainment.

Thursday’s line-up includes Lisa Christian, Jim St. James, Midnight Confessions, Stephen and Les, Elaine Petty, Willie Sugarcapps, Tony Goulas, Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster, Sand Band and The Tip Tops.

Friday will bring Ryan Connor, Vic Saul, Lee Yankee and the Hellz Yeah, Maggie Koener, Voodoo Bayou, Blackjack Billy, Will Kimbrough, Long Lost Friend, Laura Lynn Daley and Justin Patterson, Ryan Balthrop and Friends and Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster.

Saturday will feature Jason Cook/Cowboy Johnson, Brent Burns, Jason Abel Project, Varlet, Jason Justice & Hung Jury, Voodoo Bayou, The Beach Billy’s, Betsy Badwater, Jim “Dawg” Parks Band, Spyn Reset and Everclear.

The festival will finish on Sunday with Karen Reynolds, Greg Fells, Lea Anne Creswell, Adam Holt Band, Burning Cypress, Kyle and Karl, Shiny Objects and Andy Smith Band.