For a professional outsider’s take on the just completed Savannah Stopover, check out Prefix Magazine’s Savannah Stopover Report Card.
She gives the festival an A overall, but notes that scheduling issues created problems and frustration at times. This was obviously my second year going to the festival, and I’ll say that the schedule wasn’t as problematic for me this year. That was a combination of things running a little better and having a sense of which venues were most likely to be running on time. A 10 p.m. band scheduled for The Jinx, for example, obviously wouldn’t be starting until after 10:30, so there was always a chance to check out another venue first. I’ve blogged before about unnecessarily late start times — often, headlining acts in Savannah have smaller crowds than the opening acts.
From Prefix’s piece by Natalie Elliott, who obviously spend the whole weekend taking in the sights and sounds:
Savannah is one of those old, lovely, hopelessly touristy towns, with its shameless endorsement of alcohol consumption (street-legal, like New Orleans), plentiful foodie options, and reasonable walkability. Although not known as an established music scene (say, with the exception of Johnny Mercer) it deals in so much other fun/entertainment options, establishing a music offering seems like a logical inclusion. In its second year, the Stopover Music Festival serves as a respite for bands about to embark on their grueling festival grind. It’s a place where they can play to intimate crowds, catch other artists’ sets, stay in fly pads owned by local luminaries and enjoy great late-night food, drink, and dance parties. It benefits from Savannah’s inherent warmth as “The Hostess City,” and the booking of up-and-coming artists shows a strong critical organization. Basically, it’s a place where you can catch a handful of the buzzed-about acts you’d likely be chasing after all over SXSW, but without the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds or hectic over-planning. While the fest suffers a little from some sophomore-year scheduling hijinks, Stopover shows bright-eyed promise of becoming, if not an all-out spring festival contender, a smooth and amiable alternative to the old guard.
The whole piece is well worth a read.