HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The 2021 Panoply Arts Festival, “A Taste of Panoply,” is this weekend April 23-25, 2021 in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville.
Organizers say this year’s event will look different from previous years while still providing the community with an opportunity to safely celebrate and support the arts community.
“Panoply has been a Huntsville tradition for nearly four decades – a spring celebration of art, music and more,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Arts Huntsville Executive Director. “‘A Taste of Panoply’ will offer a much-needed opportunity for the community to once again experience the arts in Big Spring Park while supporting our local artists, musicians and food trucks.”
This year’s festival is designed to limit touch points and close contact among festival-goers. With this change, only Panoply’s Friday evening event will be ticketed this year at $20 per person. The Friday Night Festival Preview will allow a limited number of attendees first access to shop the Art Marketplace and enjoy the Lamont Landers Band.
Closing out Friday evening is Nashville-based headlining act The War And Treaty. The dynamic husband-and-wife duo were named emerging artists of the year by the Americana Music Association and were featured at the 2021 Rose Bowl Parade Spectacular. The War And Treaty has previously performed with Mumford & Sons, toured with Jason Isbell and will be opening for John Legend on multiple tour dates this summer.
Following their performance, a fireworks show will cap off the evening’s festivities. The show is sponsored by Delta Research.
Saturday and Sunday are free for the public to attend with a suggested donation of $10 per adult. “It is critical for our creative workers – our area musicians and artists – to have places like Panoply to perform and sell their work. At the same time, the pandemic has impacted Arts Huntsville and all area arts organizations, and it is also vital that we fund the expenses associated with this year’s event,” Dillon-Jauken said.
The festival welcomes back favorite local and regional musical acts to the Panoply Showcase Stage and local and national artists to the Art Marketplacefor all three days. Saturday and Sunday will feature demonstrations and takeaway activities for all ages on STEAM Street and at Creativity Corner, along with strolling characters and more.
This year, Arts Huntsville welcomes 15 musical performances to the Panoply Showcase Stage, sponsored by Buffalo Rock.
Saturday on the Showcase Stage features local and regional talent throughout the day including the following acts: Tyler A.K., Them Damn Dogs, WANDA, Joe Cagle, DMRSoul and Lana White. Saturday night, the Unique Live Band will open for the headlining act The Vegabonds, who will close out the evening with a night of Southern rock music. The Alabama-born, Tennessee-bred group of five musicians released their fifth studio album “V” in 2019 and havepreviously opened for acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Gregg Allman.
On Sunday, “A Taste of Panoply”celebrates a day of Alabama Music, featuring a full-day lineup of artists from North Alabama with the following acts: Cotton and Clover, Alan Little and the Giants, Ally Cat and the Stray Dogs, Midlife Chrysler and The Beasley Brothers to the Showcase Stage.
The Panoply Art Marketplace provides outdoor shopping in a beautiful setting in and aroundBig Spring Park. This year the juried Art Marketplace will welcome over 100 professional visual artists, many of whom have not had the opportunity to sell their work at festivals for over a year. One of the most popular features of the festival, the Art Marketplace features a variety of mediums including, but not limited, to jewelry, sculpture, clay, glass, metal, fiber, two-dimensional and mixed media paintings.
Festival hours are Friday from 5:00pm-9:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am-9:00pm (Art Marketplace closes at 7:30 p.m.) and Sunday from 11:00am-6:00pm.
A breakdown of 2021 festival highlights:
Friday Night Festival Preview
The Friday Night Festival Preview will provide festivalgoers with the first opportunity to shop Panoply’s Art Marketplace while also enjoying the musical talents of the Lamont Landers Band followed by the evening’s headliners The War And Treaty. Attendees should note thatPanoply’s STEAM Street and Creativity Corner activities will not be open to the public on Friday night.
Military Salute Night
The Panoply tradition of the Military Salute Night, sponsored by Dynetics, continues on Friday, April 23rd. All active-duty military and Armed Forces reserves, along with their dependents, are welcomed to the park for a free evening of entertainment. As the Friday Night Preview event is the only ticketed experience at this year’s festival, military personnel will be asked to show their current military ID at the entranceon Friday night.
This year, festivalgoers can experience STEAM Street–sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama on Saturday and Sunday. STEAM Street will feature an art of science microscope exhibit, sponsored by Davidson Technologies, and takeaway STEAM activities including hovercrafts, creative catapults and binary beads supported by sponsors the National Space Club and RUAG Space USA. New this year, a STEAM in Action demonstration will be led by the Bakingtist.
On Saturday and Sunday, Creativity Corner will offer an in-park art scavenger hunt and takeaway art activities for kids and families to create at home or with their family while social-distancing at the festival.
Arts in Action Demonstrations
Regional artists will offer live demonstrations at the Arts in Action tents on Saturday and Sunday, offering festivalgoers a first-hand look at art processes from Green Pea Press, Cigar Box Guitars and Angel Jordan in the genres of printing, playing and scarf dyeing.
The arrival of the giant letters announcing Panoply signal the start of the festival. This year’s Panoply letters will be finished artworks created by UAH art students designed to provide fun festival photo opportunities in the park throughout the weekend.
Sidewalk Chalk Areas & Lookie-Lou Photo Opportunities
The sidewalk chalk areas and lookie-lous provide a fun activity for festivalgoers to enjoy within Big Spring Park. These are always a must-see-and-do activity for making temporary public art and capturing festival memories.
Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to see characters and dancers from their favorite area arts organizations strolling through the parkfor socially distanced photo opportunities.
Panoply Poster Artist
Each year, Arts Huntsville commissions an artist to create a piece of art that captures the spirit of the festival and the community. This year’s Panoply poster art was featured last year at the virtual iPanoply and was carried over to this year to give full recognition of the vibrant art created by Panoply Poster Artist John “Jahni” Moore. Moore’s festival artwork, titled “Reconstruction,” is a dynamic, street-art inspired work that captures the energy of Panoply and Huntsville’s art scene. “Jahni Moore is known across the Huntsville community as an arts educator and muralist, and we are thrilled to finally feature his artwork at Panoply,” said Dillon-Jauken. “His ‘Space is our Place’ mural at Campus 805 has been featured in publications from Parade Magazine to the New York Times, and his Panoply poster artwork also embodies Huntsville’s innovative and creative energy.”
Festivalgoers will be able to purchase merchandise featuring Moore’s poster artwork at the Panoply Store. Moore will also be featured in the Panoply Art Marketplace where festivalgoers can purchase original artworks by this award-winning Huntsville artist.
Panoply Festival Food
Festivalgoers can enjoy creative culinary creations alongside the diverse array of art and music as the festival will also showcase 13 regional food trucks and vendors.
Enjoy music and performances at the outdoor Showcase Stage with open-air seating. Festival patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on, while social distancing, as they enjoy the lineup of “A Taste of Panoply” performers.
Arts Huntsville is offering limited tickets for Friday night until 9:00am on April 23 or when capacity is reached. Tickets are on sale now at artshuntsville.org. Based on availability, limited $20 cash-only tickets may be available at the gate and must be purchased with exact change.
Masks are encouraged at “A Taste of Panoply.” Masks will be available at the entry gates and at a variety of stations throughout the park such as the Information Booth, STEAM tent and Creativity Corner for festivalgoers who do not have their own.
Festivalgoers will also be encouraged to enjoy their food and drink while seated in the park.
All visual artists will be provided with sanitizer,and attendees will be asked to sanitize their hands prior to handling artwork. Additionally, sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
Noted changes to this year’s scaled back “Taste of Panoply” event:
Entrances: This year, there will only be two public entrances to the event –one on Monroe Street and one on Williams Avenue. The former Church Street entrance will be limited to volunteer check-in for the 2021 festival.
Stages: While Panoply typically offers three performance stages, the 2021 “Taste of Panoply” will feature only one stage –the Showcase Stage at the Huntsville Museum of Art.
Student Art: The popular Panoply Student Art Tent will not be included in this year’s festival as area students have had limited access to traditional art classes in the 2020-21 academic year. The Student Art Tent will return in 2022.
Alcohol Consumption: While Panoply traditionally celebrates Huntsville’s craft beer scene at the festival, “A Taste of Panoply” will not offer a Craft Beer Tent inside the festival. For 2021, purple cups from Huntsville’s downtown entertainment district will be allowed atthe event.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the Friday Festival Preview, please visit the Arts Huntsville website at www.artshuntsville.org.