Arts Huntsville Announces 2017 Panoply Festival Headliners and Highlights

Huntsville, AL – Arts Huntsville’s 35th Panoply Arts Festival returns on April 28 – 30, 2017 in downtown Huntsville’s Big Spring Park.

Panoply kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 28th, welcoming back favorite local and regional musical acts as well as nationally-recognized and critically-acclaimed bands and musicians, the Art Marketplace presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, STEAM Interactives, craft beer, festival food, select local food trucks and more.

Humming House

Featured Music – This year more than 50 performances will span three stages. On Friday, Huntsville’s GoodVibeNation will begin the night with classic rock on the Buffalo Rock/Rocket City Broadcasting Showcase Stage, followed by Unknown Lyric’s urban rhythms paired with strains of the classics. To close out the night, Panoply welcomes Nashville’s Humming House to the Showcase Stage. The quintet’s music is characterized by its unique blend of edgy, independent artistry and folk, soul, and bluegrass. Humming House has released two studio albums and has brought their passion and artistry to major music festivals across the nation.

The Secret Sisters

On Saturday, the festival highlights Huntsville’s own, with performances by local favorites as well as performers new to the festival. North Alabama’s own Secret Sisters return to Panoply Arts Festival and lend their soulful harmonies as the opening act ahead of Saturday’s headlining performance. Panoply organizers are honored to welcome the Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama to the Showcase Stage to close out Saturday night.

Blind Boys of Alabama

The Blind Boys of Alabama have the rare distinction of being recognized around the world as both living legends and modern-day innovators. They are not just gospel singers borrowing from old traditions; the group helped to define those traditions in 20th century and almost single-handedly created a new gospel sound for the 21st. Since the original members first sang together as kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind (including Jimmy Carter, who leads the group today), the band has persevered through the decades to become one of the most recognized and decorated roots music groups in the world. The Blind Boys of Alabama have won five Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, have been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and have performed at the White House for three different presidents.

On Sunday, festivalgoers can enjoy back-to-back performances by Mambo Gris Gris, Amy McCarley and Microwave Dave and the Nukes on the Showcase Stage.

Art Marketplace – Presented by TOYOTA Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, the juried Art Marketplace at Panoply has once again expanded. One of the most popular features of the festival, the Art Marketplace will feature 102 artists from 16 states, providing prime shopping in a beautiful setting in and around the newly renovated Big Spring Park. Of the 102 exhibitors, 42 are new to the festival and more than 25 North Alabama artists will showcase their work.

Arts in Action – Regional artists will offer demonstrations of their crafts at Panoply’s Arts in Action tents, where festivalgoers can get a first-hand look at the process of painting, pottery, broom-making, and basket-weaving.

• Panoply Poster Artist – A popular annual Panoply tradition is the commissioning of an original artwork to serve as the poster for the event. Local artist and muralist Logan Tanner was selected to create the Panoply 2017 poster art, playfully titled “Revenge of the Ducks.” Logan grew up in North Alabama and took up painting while attending the Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile. He continued his studies at the University of Montevallo, where he obtained his degree in painting and printmaking. Logan’s work focuses on Southern themes and imagery, often set in surreal landscapes. He currently lives in Huntsville, and has a studio located on the Flying Monkey floor of historic Lowe Mill. Logan is also an accomplished muralist, having created multiple murals for Lowe Mill and the Downtown Rescue Mission.

“At Arts Huntsville, we know that the community shares our excitement about the beautiful renovations happening in Big Spring Park. Like the ducks, everyone is eager to get back into the Park. Logan has captured the spirit of Panoply in our 2017 poster art, where the ducks are ready to play a role in the 2017 festival and greet attendees with a magnificent array of entertainment,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Arts Huntsville executive director.

Hands-On Interactives – STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) interactives and hands-on art activities return to Panoply again this year, giving festivalgoers of all ages the chance to discover scientific lessons through art and get in touch with their creative side.

STEAM Interactives include:
• Defense Acquisition University’s Musical Math – Learn how music is composed of ratios through demonstrations showing how ratios of different bell weights, pipe lengths and string tensions create musical notes and chords. Festivalgoers will then create their own simple slide whistle
• Huntsville Ballet Company’s Physics of Pirouettes– Festival goers will learn about the physics of pirouettes, learn how to pirouette and create and decorate their own spinning tops
• Arts Huntsville’s Mars Magnets presented by Avadian Credit Union – Learn about the solar system and make your own planet magnets
• Huntsville AL L5 Society’s Hovercrafts presented by McDaniel and McDaniel – Learn how hovercrafts work and make your own out of cd’s and balloons

Other hands-on activities include:
• Flying Fish presented by Toyota Motor and Manufacturing of Alabama– Make and bring home your own 3D koi fish
• Face Painting presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama – Festivalgoers can get their faces painted at one of the largest and most popular tents in the park
• Panoply Pops presented by Aero Thermo Technology – Create your own Panoply fireworks using craft roll and paint in this community art activity that will be displayed in the park
• Zany Sculptures presented by Parkway Place Mall – Let your imagination and creativity run wild as you create colorful, zany sculptures
• Huntsville Symphony Guild’s Discover Music – Experiment with new instruments
• Popsicle People – Create fun characters out of popsicle sticks representing all areas of the arts
• Panoply Letters – Paint 6’ letters displayed in the park

Huntsville UNITY Project – Designed as interactive public art project and sponsored by Turner Construction, UNITY is a larger-than-life structure that simultaneously celebrates our uniqueness and strengthens our ties to each other. Festivalgoers will use colorful yarn to create the UNITY installation during Panoply to create a web of interconnectedness. Facilitated by community volunteers and the City of Huntsville’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Huntsville’s UNITY Project is one of hundreds created in over 20 countries around the globe designed to celebrate our diversity and build stronger, more vibrant communities through art.

Military Salute Night – Another Panoply tradition continues on Friday, April 28th. Military Salute Night, sponsored by Boeing, will welcome active duty military, Armed Forces reserves and their dependents to the park for a free evening of entertainment. The evening will feature a performance by the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band, presented by Dynetics.

Panoply Beer and Festival Food – Festivalgoers can enjoy local tastes along with Panoply’s diverse array of

art and music. The popular Craft Beer Tent returns, featuring beer from breweries across this region. This year it will feature a special Panoply Beer, brewed specifically for the festival by long-time festival partner Straight To Ale. Panoply will once again showcase a great assortment of festival food and featured food trucks Rollin’ Lobstah, Tha Food Truck and Kentucky’s Pollo LLC.

photo courtesy Cliff Loehr

Panoply Fireworks sponsored by Delta Research // photo courtesy Cliff Loehr

Festival Seating – Enjoy music and performances at three outdoor stages with open-air seating. Festival patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on as they enjoy the lineup of Panoply performers. You can also purchase branded festival chairs in the Panoply Stores.

Fireworks – Friday and Saturday night end the night with a stunning fireworks display sponsored by Delta Research.

Online Ticketing and Weekend Pass – Arts Huntsville is once again offering a Panoply weekend pass available online in advance for just $18. The pass offers an affordable way to enjoy Panoply’s diverse entertainment all weekend. Weekend passes are only available until 4:00 p.m. on April 28, 2017. Day passes are $10 and can be purchased in advance online or at the event. Children 12 and under get in free.