Preview: Secret Stages 2013

Music fans make up a unique blend of our societal fabric, falling somewhere between casual and obsessive listener. The former owns a fair amount of albums, enjoys attending concerts in their city and shares music with their friends when they find something enjoyable. The latter owns the rare deluxe version of every album in their collection, travels miles to see their favorite band (even if it’s for the tenth time) and manage to bring a musical element to every conversation they have with someone. However, both categories can agree that finding a brand new band to call your own is one of the greatest feelings in the world.


Secret Stages, dubbed “Birmingham’s Music Discovery Festival”, promises the potential to do just that with over 40 options of great music in two days. In its third year, the festival’s attendance and popularity continue to explode. On August 2nd and 3rd, music fans will find themselves wandering around Birmingham’s historic Loft District (1st and 2nd Ave N, between 22nd and 24th Streets N), listening to bands in venues such as Matthew’s Bar and Grill, the M-Lounge, Pale Eddie’s, Das Haus as well as an outdoor stage.


Travis Morgan, founder of Birmingham’s Skybucket Records and the man who is responsible for hand-picking the acts for Secret Stages, is one of the biggest proponents of independent music I’ve ever met. His choices wowed me at last year’s festival. The genre range that attendees will find at the festival makes Secret Stages worth exploring. Last year, I found myself listening to hardcore, Vampire Weekend-esque indie rock, alternative country-laden singer-songwriters, innovative hip hop complete with an MC battle and dance off and so much more.


Everyone has that one friend or group of friends whose favorite expression for describing a once-obscure band or songwriter who has skyrocketed to fame is “I saw them when…”. Secret Stages provides you with that opportunity. Past Secret Stages alum who have gone on to greater things include Dawes, Shovels and Rope, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Water Liars and several others. To check out the full list of bands and listen to samples from each artists, click here.


Weekend passes cost $20 and include access to all venues, but a $60 VIP pass gets you access to the VIP Lounge at The Parthenon Conference Center, complimentary beer, wine and spirits, catering by Slice Pizza and Brew, access to three “secret shows” per night and early access to all shows. For more options and to purchase tickets, click here.


Fly Golden Eagle kicks off Secret Stages 2013 Friday night at 6:30 on the outdoor stage. All venues are 21+ while the outdoor stage is all-ages. Come out and support one of the most unique music festivals that you’ve ever been to. Don’t forget to buy the T-shirt.


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About Chris K. Davidson

Chris K. Davidson is a contributing writer for You Hear This. He has written for Birmingham Box Set,, among others.