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Secret Stages 2018 Announcement

11 Nov 2017

written by Croma


Secret Stages 2018 Announcement

Text by Tim Borland

IMG_9087Alabama Rose

Secret Stages held annually in downtown Birmingham, Ala. has announced their 2018 dates will be August 3 and 4. The two day ‘music discovery festival’ grows every year, providing another entry to the lineup of great Alabama music events like SouthSounds Festival, Sloss Fest, Hangout Fest, and 1065.

IMG_9430IMG_9646IMG_9981       James & the Ultrasounds                           Dogwood                                          Manrelic        

Many Mobile area bands have trekked to the Magic City to share their talent. BUNCH performed in 2016, sharing their new music to new listeners. Those who missed it can watch live footage of their performance here: Bunch live at Secret Stages 2016

IMG_9673IMG_9077IMG_9403                    Small Batch                                 The Prescriptions                             Skyway Man 

Besides Bama bands, many musicians that appear represent other Southeastern cities. Manrelic, Skyway Man, and The Prescriptions all traveled from Nashville, Tenn. to perform in 2017. Another Tennessee act, James and the Ultrasounds, hailed from Memphis, Tenn. Arrivals from more distant cities like Small Batch from Lexington, Ky., and The Bronzed Chorus from Greensboro, N.C. added to the diverse selection.

IMG_0067The Bronzed Chorus

Mod Mobilian contributors Mica and Kim Brickell documented over 17 different bands during Secret Stages 2017. Mica previously covered Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, and Russian Circles at Iron City for Mod Mobilian last spring – readers can find those original photos here: Mastodon Rocks Iron City

For those interested in discovering new music at secret performances next year, explore the couple’s coverage of Secret Stages 2017 below for a small taste of what the annual occasion has to offer.



Inside Secret Stages 2017

Photos and Text by Mica and Kim Brickell


Secret Stages was fired up this year. This Music Discovery Festival showcases up and coming artists for a bargain price and no cover entrance to numerous great independent businesses. The two day event includes 60 bands on six different stages. There were a variety of new and up and coming artists that ranged genres from Bluegrass and Folk to Hip-Hop and Rock. Multiple venues allows music events to occur simultaneously, and for the environment of each location to have its own vibe.

IMG_9191The Young Step

There were many standout performers at Secret Stages 2017. The Young Step brought their Indie Rock sound from St. Augustine, Fla. to downtown audiences. In addition to music there were several projections and art installations to entertain guests.


The alleys between the venues would transform from public gathering areas in the daytime to colorful portals of light at night. The secret agent logo was prominently displayed around businesses participating in the weekend.


Art installations allowed graffiti artists to express themselves while decorating the alleys of the event. Many were painting live during music, working in the daytime to complete their creation before nightfall. The colorful decorations add ambiance to the underground vibe of weekend.


Four of the six official stages are hosted by local venues within walking distance of each other. The hospitality of businesses such as Rogue Tavern, Pale Eddie’s Pour House, Jazzy’s, and Urban Standard made it an unforgettable experience for anyone that attended.

IMG_9545-001Startle the Heavens

Startle the Heavens were proud to represent their hometown Birmingham, Ala. The members brought a mesmerizing ambient instrumental rock sound to life with their set at Pale Eddie’s Pour House. 


The remaining two stages were large outdoor platforms with colorful lighting and great sound in large open areas behind buildings. Jabee from Oklahoma City, Okla. owned the Southside Main Stage with his Hip-Hop lyrics. The open air outdoor stages provide more standing room for guests, and make the event larger with more to explore than an average weekend of barhopping.

IMG_9616Aaron Burdett Band

Aaron Burdett Band from Asheville, N.C. took to Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage with their Americana and Bluegrass sound. An additional benefit of performing at the outdoors stages is that the music can be the central focus, helping to earn new listeners.


Lady Legs                                                            Adron

The most exciting part of Secret Stages are the secret shows; certain sets during the evening are reserved specifically for a surprise performer. No-one knows who the unannounced group will be until they take the stage, and many show up to avoid missing out on something huge. Two of the secret performances for 2017 were by Lady Legs from Auburn, Ala. and songwriter Adron from Atlanta, Ga.


Another secret set of the evening was performed by ONA. Representing Huntington, W.Va., the lineup consisted of a bass, two guitars, and drums. Secret performances have the potential to be symbiotic, providing fresh unheard sounds to audiences and open minded listeners to independent musicians. The dynamic and excitement of the music reveal helps keep the Bham happening unique.

IMG_9128Early James and the Latest

There were a number of Birmingham, Ala. bands who performed such as the previously mentioned Startle the Heavens as well as Early James and the Latest. The acoustic guitar and upright bass added a nice contrast to some of the electric performances which would come later in the evening.


Alabama Rose and Timber were a couple more Bham talents who were able to share their art with other regional musicians. A great result of Secret Stages is that it helps to foster and grow Birmingham’s music scene by providing a larger platform for area musicians. All of this year’s Secret Stages artists were amazing; the festival will return August 3 and 4 , 2018.



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