Wade on Birmingham

City Stages 2008: The lineup


Diana Ross, Flaming Lips set to headline

city stagesTen weeks and counting until the 20th anniversary edition of City Stages. Organizers have announced the first round of acts performing on Father’s Day weekend (June 13-15) in downtown Birmingham, including:

  • Diana Ross
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Buddy Guy
  • Old Crow Medicine Show
  • The Roots
  • Citizen Cope
  • Sean Kingston
  • Galactic
  • Will Hoge

Three-day passes go on sale Friday through Ticketma$ter for $37.50 ($45 and $50 closer to the event dates).

What do you think of the lineup? How does it compare to the Crawfish Boil or Bonnaroo? (Same booking agents as Bonnaroo, but also same restrictions on artist exclusivity.) Is it better than the 2007 lineup? Tell us in the comments.

Plus, video previews after the jump …

Diana Ross and the Supremes, ‘Baby Love’

The Flaming Lips, ‘Do You Realize?’

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, ‘Southern Girl’

Buddy Guy on ‘Austin City Limits’

Old Crow Medicine Show, ‘Wagon Wheel’

The Roots, ‘Don’t Feel Right’

Citizen Cope, ‘Bullet and a Target’

Sean Kingston, ‘Beautiful Girls’

Galactic, ‘I Got It’

Will Hoge, ‘Dirty Little War’


• • •

Complete City Stages 2008 coverage.

19 Yips for “City Stages 2008: The lineup”

  1. Ginny
    Monday, March 31, 2008, 9:27 am

    Well, the Bonnaroo list looks like people I’d want to see (not at Bonnaroo, but in general), and the City Stages list looks like a bunch of people who need money.

  2. BJ
    Monday, March 31, 2008, 6:52 pm

    interested for the first time in a few years.
    i’ll buy in while tix are cheap.

  3. Wade
    Monday, March 31, 2008, 9:49 pm

    @Ginny: There’s really no comparison between Bonnaroo and City Stages, but wait till you see the lineup at the next festival I showcase …

    @BJ: Why pay when free tix abound?

  4. Chuck Barnett
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008, 9:30 pm

    Are you kidding me? This is the worst lineup for City Stages in years. Where are the rockers? Last year was much better! I wouldn’t pay 10 bucks to see the current lineup. If they don’t add some more acts before the show you can count me out this year. I hate to miss a show I look forward to every year, but I simply have no interest in the acts signed up so far.

  5. Kevin
    Monday, April 14, 2008, 8:38 am

    I cant wait until The Flaming Lips drop their madness on Linn Park. I saw them Last year at ‘roo and it was the most awesome amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life! As far as ‘roo this year, Idont know what they were thinking, but as far as comments made like “worst lineup in years” and “looks like these people need money” I strongly disagree. I spend most of my free time going to festies and shows and this to my memory is shaping up to be the best most ecclectic lineup for this thing to date. Kudos Ashley Kapp! I quit qoing to City Stages years ago because i didnt like giving my money to the likes of Kid Rock, Ratt, Chingy, And Poison. This is Just what Birmingham needed….a Big Swift Countercultural kick in the butt. Im Glad that people in charge of hiring Mr. Kapp for his services made that choice. Im forgoing Bonnaroo for the first time in its existance because of the simple fact that I dont want to miss this. Its shaping up to be a good year and I think Birmingham will prosper from this. A lot of these bands (ie. The Flaming Lips, Galactic, Old Crow, The Roots) have dedicated followings and this will definatley cause the city to prosper not only from ticket sales but tourism as well. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Its about time this city grows up and progresses. You cant expect all the people that go to this to be happy with the same old 99.5 and 105.5 standards, “hot” rappers and washed up flashes in the pan. All I ask of the readers of this and the festival patrons and the city itself…dont be so close minded…thats one of the things that have held this city back for so long.

  6. Brad
    Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10:45 am

    The lineup sucks. They need the big bands because thats what people who have a life and can’t follow the festivals want to see.

  7. Keiser41
    Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 11:34 am

    I do not attend any music festivals but I do work them every year. Regardless of who is in the lineup, City Stages doesn’t hold a candle to the Crawfish Boil.

    With just one stage and 1.5 days of music, Crawfish generates 5 times the revenue in our field as all of City Stages with it’s size and length.

    Also watching the people leave the two events, the folks coming out of Crawfish seem to be happier and charged rather than drained and ready to go home.

    IMOP, City Stages has become a pain in the side and either needs to rethink their gameplan or finally close it down. Don’t worry folks, there are still tons of music festivals to attend without even leaving the state.

  8. Kali Terry
    Saturday, April 26, 2008, 12:09 am

    Im anxious to attend the whole City Stages event based on two acts. One, Citizen Cope I love Clarence Greenwood. Two, The Roots live and ?love doing his thing and I lied Third Franky Beverly and Maze. Im very excited I think this will be a fantastic and I find solace in the joy of celebrating unity and diversity. Peace

    Kali Terry

  9. Frank
    Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 11:10 am

    I agree. This is a WEAK lineup. I will anticipate some strong additions or City Stages is in trouble.

  10. Wade
    Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 11:29 pm

    The real problem? City Stages has shown it can lose money on even the strongest of lineups.

    Twenty years of experience should be a good teacher. Instead, it has led to persistent debt and begging and an air of secrecy.

  11. BirminghamEsoteric
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 7:49 pm

    Wade I take you to task for that comment. That is unfair and unjustified. What dealings have you had with the festival? Did you get slighted?

    City Stages will endure. It will rise like a phoenix, especially with the state of our national economy. People can’t afford to travel this summer…get my drift!?

    more artists to be announced soon. or so i’ve heard. enjoy this years fest and stop being so critical of a non-profit trying to bring some culture (or at least fun!!!) to our sometimes culturally barren city.

  12. Wade
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 8:33 pm

    My dealings with the festival range from mere ticket-buying attendee to tax-paying citizen to full-fledged journalist. Doesn’t really matter if I’ve been slighted: What matters is how a festival with such a volatile financial track record can continue to ask for and receive public money and services without accountability and transparency.

    This city is far from “culturally barren” by the way — maybe you too should be less critical.

  13. Keiser41
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 11:32 pm


    If you expect City Stages to behave like a Phoenix then it is surely on it’s way since a Phoenix is known for rising from it’s ashes.

    Read this article and see how City Stages is slowly burning itself down. http://blog.al.com/mcolurso/2007/06/figures_point_to_better_times.html

    But as we know a Phoenix is a mythological creature so I don’t expect City Stages will recover. It’s also about time that the tax payers money does not get used to help out something they did not want to attend in the first place.

    As for “more artist to be announced soon”, the website says that every year around this time. They can’t confirm bookings because they are hoping that the acts will sign on in good faith. These people don’t sing for free you know.

    There is another small event coming up put on by WZZK. One stage, five “Big” name acts, one day and I bet it brings in more people percentage wise than City Stages just like the Crawfish boil.

    CS is an old dinosaur looking for a tarpit to sleep in, let it lie.

  14. BirminghamEsoteric
    Thursday, May 1, 2008, 8:02 am

    Keiser41, you and i obviously view CS in a different light. we are on different sides of the fence, so i’m not going to spend my time defending the festival or its importance to our community to you. enjoy the rain this weekend at the CB.

    regardless of where i stand, i’m excited about the diversity of music coming to our city this summer – enjoy! – even if its martina mcbride, kellie pickler, sara evans, and bucky covington.

  15. spedteach
    Saturday, June 14, 2008, 9:05 am

    There are only a handful of bands that I want to see this year. For the most part, I agree that it is a horrible lineup. I’ve attended 18 of the 20 City Stages, but this may well be my last. To me, a weekend pass is a weekend pass. We wanted to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops and we wanted to see Old Crow Medicine Show. My boyfriend uses oxygen and we wanted to leave the festival after the Chocolate Drops, go to a nearby coffee shop, sit and relax, get a bite to eat, cool off and then go back in to see Old Crow. Then we found out there were no passes out on Friday night. I was quite upset–if you buy a weekend pass, you should be able to come and go at your will. They did say they were giving passes out on Saturday and Sunday, but you had to get the wristbands before 6:30. That’s just crazy. I may not go today, but plan to go Sunday, but as I said, this is most likely my last year to attend.

  16. Wade
    Monday, June 16, 2008, 9:43 pm

    @spedteach: That’s a shame. It seems as though each year brings new nonsensical rules that lessen the festival-going experience more and more.

    Maybe you could’ve talked them into letting you go and come back for this medical exception. But if City Stages fails to be profitable yet again, it’s not because too many people re-entered the festival.

  17. J Matt
    Wednesday, June 18, 2008, 12:22 pm

    The best lineup in years. No doubt. And for all the haters…I dont know what world you live on. These are legends and hot acts…and all on one weekend.

  18. Keiser41
    Wednesday, June 18, 2008, 10:41 pm

    Again the revenue aspect of City Stages in our field dropped. The crowd, if it can be called that, was much smaller.

    Neither of these things surprised me. Even with the alleged help of the Bonaroo booking agent it failed once again.

    Also our views have nothing to do with being haters. Most are based on personal taste or on accumalitive data gathered for the last 10 years.

    Let’s sit back and see which corporations bale them out this time.

  19. Wade on Birmingham » Blog Archive » Wade on March 2008
    Sunday, June 29, 2008, 12:14 am

    […] City Stages 2008: The lineup Keiser41 | Again the revenue aspect of City… J Matt | The best lineup in years. No doubt…. Wade | @spedteach: That’s a shame. It… spedteach | There are only a handful of bands… […]

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