DCAF spring brings art, music and children’s events to downtown Tuscaloosa

As the hatchling of Druid City Arts Festival leaves its nest, it continues to grow and soar, doubling its days, expanding its area, and adding attractions and partners.

The 15th DCAF 2024 will be held at Government Plaza on April 5 from 5 to 9 pm and April 6 from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free and the family-friendly event features arts and craft stalls, live music, a children’s zone and vendors selling food and drink on site.

more: Alabama Football Day 2024 dates set, homecoming game dates announced

Nicole Moreno-Lacalle, special events operations manager for the City of Tuscaloosa Arts and Entertainment Department, said like most events that seem to spring up overnight, go off without a hitch, and then quickly disappear Likewise, DCAF requires months of careful preparation and preparation.

From late summer to each New Year, the committee selects 80 artists whose stalls are set up along the winding paths around Government Square. 400 free parking spaces adjacent. Another committee sifts through musician applications, hoping to highlight local and regional acts and focus on upbeat voices.

“We were looking for something to keep the energy going,” Moreno-Lacalle said. “There’s a lot of traditional sounds, some bluegrass, roots rock, country, and a little bit of funk at the end.”

As with so many events that laid the foundation for DCAF, including the late CityFest and Weindorf, Mercedes-Benz USA International sponsored the music.

“In our more than 25 years in Alabama, we have supported many cultural events in West Alabama, including CityFest and Weindorf, the Amphitheater, the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and more,” said MBUSI Communications Manager Felyicia Jerald.

“We value these partnerships and see them as a way to invest in the arts and improve the overall quality of life for those who live here, including our own team members. We are delighted to have the opportunity this year to sponsor the 2024 DCAF Music Stage. I’m sure this will be a great lineup.

Here is DCAF’s 2024 musical lineup:


Reed Brake (Roots Rock) 5 – 6:45 pm

A Few Miles South (Bluegrass/Roots) 7 to 9 p.m.


Mississippi Mason (Country) 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Drum Nation (percussion) 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Three’s Company Acoustic Trio (Alternative Pop) 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Cottonmouth Creek (Contemporary Bluegrass) 1:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Sonic Solider (rock/funk/punk) 4 to 5 p.m.

Moreno-Lacalle said that while DCAF’s reputation is growing, applications are pouring in from several surrounding states, and the 80 artists are also very local. There will be works in clay, flat surfaces, fiber, glass, wood, photography, sculpture and mixed media, as well as works by artists including jewelry, candles and soaps.

As early as 2010, the University of Alabama’s Creative Campus Project proposed the concept of DCAF. CCI is intended to be an incubator, a way to get programs off the ground and then turn them over to the city or other agency that can handle long-term planning and management, in part because students’ tenure at UA tends to be about four years or so. . .

CityFest and Weindorf, outdoor music and arts festivals that had been held for more than 20 years, closed in 2005 due to weather problems, as well as other events such as Birmingham City Stages that also faced the same problem. The majority of CCI’s under-21s hope a new event will open the doors to clubs and bars where they are not allowed and allow their musicians to get out and get some fresh air.

The first DCAF took over the space formerly known as CityFest, now home to the Embassy Suites hotel and home to dozens of artists and musicians. Over the next few years, DCAF moved to Government Square.

The Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Authority (now called Visit Tuscaloosa) joined the party in 2013, and crowds grew to 12,000 or more over the next few years; by 2019, DCAF was extended to two sky. DCAF is now administered by the City of Tuscaloosa.

It’s an event that is closely associated with Kelsey Rush, now president and CEO of Visit Tuscaloosa, who has spent several years helping plan and develop the event.

“The last time I worked was in 2015, I was tracking my steps, and I remember walking 14 miles that Saturday,” she said with a laugh. “It’s definitely a labor of love and a gift to the city.”

That’s one reason admission is free, Moreno-LaCalle said.

“Our goal is really never to make money from these events,” she said. “These are quality-of-life events that enrich communities and bring people together.”

After experimenting with the date, pushing it further into May, DCAF appears to have settled on early April, a period that will be largely rain-free but still warm and pleasant. As a result, it serves as a gateway to one of the city’s busiest seasons, helping to enhance our image as a vibrant community and a great place to live, play and work, Rush said.

It also precedes the University of Alabama’s spring football game, scheduled for April 13 at 3 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“DCAF is the first major spring event before A Day, when people are excited to get outdoors,” she said. Research visits to Tuscaloosa compared Tuscaloosa to other SEC school cities and showed that residents and visitors alike want more activities and things to do.

Although fall is still the highlight here, “we shouldn’t be sleeping in spring,” Rush said. For more information, visit www.druidcityartsfestival.com.

Contact Mark Hughes Cobb at mark.cobb@tuscaloosanews.com.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *