The Azalea City has waited patiently for the initial artist announcement for BayFest 2015, and the moment has finally arrived. On Monday, July 20, BayFest President and CEO Bobby Bostwick also revealed organizers plan to “offer the best experience at a reduced cost.” For the first time, a BayFest VIP experience will be available to the public, and weekend passes have been reduced to $45.

“We love the loyalty of our BayFest fans,” Bostwick said in a news release. “This is our 21st year, and we have people who come from as far as Canada, to as close as around the corner, and they all can’t wait to see who we will bring next.”

Birmingham’s St. Paul and The Broken Bones will be among the artists   headlining the lower-priced BayFest Oct. 2-4 in downtown Mobile.

Birmingham’s St. Paul and The Broken Bones will be among the artists headlining the lower-priced BayFest Oct. 2-4 in downtown Mobile.

The biggest Urban/R&B headliner so far is a BayFest veteran. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic is bringing the funk back to Downtown Mobile. BayFest is also welcoming back Dennis “Finger Roll” Nelson to what is known as “Alabama’s Largest Music Festival.” Artists also scheduled to appear on the R&B stage include Chrisette Michele, Willie Clayton, Calvin Richardson, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Barrington “Bo” Henderson, Vick Allen, Wendell B, Ms. Jody and Crystal Pistol.

Country fans should also be pleased with the lineup announcement for BayFest 2015: Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Randy Houser, Eli Young Band, Travis Tritt, Eric Paslay and The Joe Taylor Group.

BayFest also announced a number of impressive rock acts for this year’s festival. Regional favorite and Birmingham natives St. Paul and the Broken Bones will bring their soulful brand of rock but fans can also experience Shinedown, Cage the Elephant, Three Days Grace, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Black Stone Cherry and Manchester Orchestra.

Additional artist announcements are forthcoming. Until then, the public can purchase both VIP and weekend passes online through the BayFest website. In mid-August, passes will be available for purchase at local Circle K outlets.

Azalea Manor welcomes ‘Second Tuesday’ series
Many would argue (correctly) that a venue’s acoustics are important for a favorable live music experience, but the aesthetic nature of a venue can be just as important. Recently, 92 ZEW featured Fat Man Squeeze for a “Second Tuesday” performance at Azalea Manor, the radio station’s new home for its monthly free concert series. Fat Man Squeeze continues to draw crowds with a modern bluegrass sound that is both lyrically fun and instrumentally impressive. Guitarist Andy MacDonald and mandolin player Kevin Johnson are true masters of the fretboard. Each measure is filled to capacity with flowing runs and energetic plucks. All the while, Katrina Kolb danced with her upright bass, which answered rhythmically to each slap. The band filled its set with bluegrass tales of whiskey and Star Wars, and the crowd responded with appreciation. Green vines of ivy served as the band’s backdrop, where the audience lounged under dimly lit chandeliers in the beautiful Azalea Manor courtyard. Fat Man Squeeze’s music and Azalea Manor’s atmosphere combined for a spectacular night of music.