Since its birth in the weeks after BayFest, Ten65 has continued to expand its audience, with two days of free live music in the streets of downtown Mobile. This year’s installment will take place Oct. 4-5.
Once again, this music festival/street party will fill downtown Mobile with the sounds of regional and national music acts from all walks. Festival organizers/Outsider Presents rep Ben Jernigan hopes this year’s lineup will draw a versatile crowd of music enthusiasts.
“We were attempting to make it more about the community than it has been in the past,” Jernigan said. “There is a pretty stark contrast with the lineup this year than in years past. That was superintentional and supercalculated. It was more along the lines with what we [Outsider Presents] did with Celebrate the City this year.”
Country star Walker Hayes will headline the first night of the festival. Longtime Ten65 vets Wet Willie will return to give the crowd another serving of classic Azalea City jams. Mainstream rockers Top of the Orange will be using Ten65 as a chance to reunite. Molly Thomas will make her solo debut and Skate Mountain Records’ Red Clay Strays will be making their first appearance at the festival.
“With the exception of Walker Hayes, everybody playing Friday is a local band,” explained Jernigan. “There hasn’t been a lot of local representation in the past. This is something that we wanted to change.”
On Saturday, Big Boi’s innovative hip-hop flow will accent his headlining set. Mayer Hawthorne will add a little new school soul to the mix. Rebirth Brass Band will keep the party going with its New Orleans brass sound. Hip-hop artist J. Simon is using Ten65 as a reason to return to his Azalea City fans. Boneyafterparty will bring its Panhandle rap style. Johnny Hayes & the Loveseats will provide a little rock and soul before The Marlow Boys bring their downhome vibe to the stage. Vocalist Symone French will perform solo, and Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet’s Americana alt. rock is sure to please. Armadillo Club will open the day.
Jernigan says Ten65 organizers wanted to take the festival beyond the street party status it has maintained since the beginning. With this in mind, Ten65 will feature art and tech components. As far as the artistic aspect, Ryan Park will be the site of live art demonstrations, vendors and live art installations. A collaboration between Ten65 and the Mobile Arts Council will bring an art market to Cathedral Square.
Jernigan says the tech component will have the air of a conference/expo, complete with sessions with notable CEOs in the tech industry, including Reddit CEO Steve Huffman. The tech sessions will conclude with a drone race in Mardi Gras Park.
Ten65 will feature a few other subtle changes. Those familiar with the festival will notice that the main stage will be pushed back to make room for the art features in Ryan Park. The main stage will also be joined by a smaller second stage. Jernigan says the stages’ schedules will be coordinated to prevent any “dead time” between bands.