Druid City Music Festival shines through weather


CW / Austin Bigoney

Joseph Daniel, Contributing Writer

Rain attempted to dampen the spirits of attendees, but live music, food and drinks proved to be a success for the Druid City Music Festival.

The inaugural Druid City Music Festival (DCMF) escaped from Mother Nature’s test this weekend in downtown Tuscaloosa as music enthusiasts came together to enjoy.

The influx of people was noticeable to local bars, restaurants and businesses.

“We were packed Friday night,” Jarrod Gaines, a bartender at Loosa Brews, said. “Any time we have a band and a food truck like Wilhagan’s, we always have a larger crowd than on your average weekend.”

Loosa Brews had a packed house on Friday night as songwriters Matt Jones and Shawn Byrne showcased their musical abilities.

Attendees could flock to any of the 19 locations participating in DCMF for live music, good food and cheap drinks. Government Plaza was the location for most of Saturday’s festivities, but people could arrive as early as 9 a.m. to the Tuscaloosa Rivermarket for the Battle of the Bands. Local classic-rock band GrAystone was the first to take the main stage, followed by Birmingham’s own Lee Bains & the Glory Fires. The well-known local jam-band CBDB was one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend for people in attendance. 

Unfortunately, a weather delay cut their set short and eventually canceled Southern Avenue.

Despite the setback, festival-goers persevered. Cherry Pugh, a lifetime resident of Tuscaloosa and a 1979 graduate of the University of Alabama, was one of them in attendance. 

“I am happy with the way everything has been ran,” Pugh said. “The weather is uncontrollable, but the response to it is what will keep people happy.”

When the doors reopened around 3:15 p.m., light rain continued to fall periodically during electronica duo Break Science, but it did not stop people from dancing to the music. 

While the audience broke out their dance moves, the La Mexicana food truck and Wilhagan’s were close by to provide nourishment throughout the festival on Saturday. Stella Artois sponsored DCMF, allowing for beer to be sold on-site, too. 

DCMF used Tbbbout’s PayLater app on both days of the festival. Tbbbout serves as an easier way to accept instant cardless payments and run tabs that customers can pay instantly from their mobile phones.

“We used it all night on Friday and plan on doing the same today,” Pugh said. “Everything about it has been fantastic.”

After BreakScience finished their set, Mayor Walt Maddox paid his respects to everyone who made DCMF possible.

“All of these city leaders have created a party,” Maddox said. “We owe it to them to keep the party going.”

By the time Turkuaz came on at 6:30, the schedule was back on track with Atlanta-based rock band Blackberry Smoke at 8 and Grammy Award-winning artist Big Boi closing everything out after 10 p.m.

Despite the rain, the Druid City Music Festival was deemed a success for all ages to enjoy. Breann Sictor, a senior majoring in environmental engineering, enjoyed DCMF on both days.

“The crowd was a mix of locals and students all sitting around and having a good time,” Sictor said. “I thought it was a great way to mix the local community and college students and gave Tuscaloosa a sense of home to me.”