In many ways, Ten Sixty Five could be considered a wonder of the modern festival world. In just 10 days, a collective of representatives from both the civic and small business communities pooled their talents and resources to create an exceptional replacement for BayFest. This group was not only able to conceptualize a music festival on a short time frame, but also succeeded in creating a brand locals might be seeing more of in the future.
The geographic layout for Ten Sixty Five seemed to be well thought out. It featured two impressive stages situated in a way that made parking and walking easy. The numerous bars and restaurants along Dauphin Street made purchasing drinks and food convenient. According to early reports, the footprint also made LoDa business owners very happy. In the past, local bars and restaurants seemed to reach their peak after the BayFest gates closed. Ten Sixty Five kept potential customers immersed in the entertainment district.
As far as music goes, there were few complaints from the crowd. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic were definite crowd-pleasers. Clinton took the stage looking fresh in suit and hat. The Godfather of Funk and his crew rolled through hits ranging from “Bop Gun (Endangered Species)” to “Atomic Dog.” Clinton’s progeny also made their presence known during the set, serving as reminders that P-Funk’s legacy will continue. Later that night, Tra’Zae Clinton and other members of P-Funk retreated to The Mystic Lounge for a nightcap.
Wet Willie featuring Jimmy Hall gave the crowd a healthy serving of southern-fried soul from the Azalea City. The crowd turned into an epic chorus for songs such as “Country Side of Life” and “Keep on Smiling.” The band also performed impressive covers of “Riders on the Storm” and “It Hurts Me Too.” Ten Sixty Five’s audience proved that Mobile will never get enough of this band.
Ten Sixty Five also provided a resolution for many acts that were to appear at BayFest. The Café Stage appeared under the oaks of Bienville Square, giving locals a platform for performing and enjoying local music, as BayFest had. Peek’s set was a reminder of why so many locals love them so much. The youthful band Stereo Dogs were able to perform their original material before a crowd of both established fans and new listeners.
Another great aspect of Ten Sixty Five was all the free local music available after the stage lights were extinguished. MC After Schock’s album release party for “Thunder Ground” at The Mystic had bodies moving and grooving. At one point, the artist was joined by local hip-hop artist Venom. The duo weaved verses and flows as a live band provided a foundation. Could Mobile have gotten a preview of a future project between the two?
If Ten Sixty Five can pull off a festival like this in a little under two weeks, then the future is looking bright. There has been talk of an event like Ten Sixty Five happening twice a year. Does the festival need to strive to be as big as BayFest? That question is hard to answer. The formula used to create the inaugural Ten Sixty Five made for a pleasurable experience. As long as Ten Sixty Five continues to bring quality entertainment and maintain a stress-free environment, the festival will continue to grow in popularity.