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City of Huntsville ‘shines a light’ on local musicians this weekend


Residents and visitors of Huntsville are putting away their sparklers and heading to the park for nine hours of music this weekend. The Rocket City Summer Music Festival is Saturday from 12 to 9 p.m. at The National Speleological Society Park on 6001 Pulaski Pike.

The event will feature two main stages with appearances from more than 10 local and regional artists. Event headliners are J-Wonn and J’cenae. Visitors may hear everything from southern soul to R&B.

Rocket City Summer Music Festival

However, the music festival covers more than just live music. Producers of the reality show Love & Marriage: Huntsville will be on-site shooting live footage for television. Many local food and retail vendors will also attend. The event culminates in an afterparty beginning at 8 p.m. Visitors are free to take pictures and receive autographs from the local musicians. Visitors may also bring their own seating and tents.

Lee Adams is an event coordinator for the Rocket City Summer Music Festival. He said everyone should stop by and listen to the music if they get the chance to.

“I would say it’s more so the vibes,” he said. “Huntsville has a great environment. The people, the hospitality [and] the spirit here in Huntsville is [second] to none… The vibes are going to be off the chart. You’re definitely going to want to come to have a great time and meet new people. It’s going to be a laidback environment where everyone can relax and enjoy.”

The festival is formerly known as the Summer Soul Music Fest. Adams said the name change was intentional; coordinators wanted visitors to understand just how important Huntsville is as a music city.

“Being in Huntsville is the Rocket City,” he said. “We just want to let people know even here in Huntsville, we do have great music events. Huntsville is growing. It’s one of the top five cities to stay in the U.S. We just want to adhere to everybody that’s visiting the city that we can throw events like this and all genres of people can come to have a great time.”

It is not just the city and its image that benefits from an event like Rocket City Summer Music Festival. Lee said local artists also get a boost.

“It’s going to shine a light on the talent that we [have] musically here from all over local acts,” he said. “Huntsville has a very deep-rooted culture when it comes to music, and this event is just going to let people know and let people see that there are very talented live bands and live independent artists here. I think it’s going to showcase all of that.”

Tickets may be purchased online at the festival’s Eventbrite page or during festival day at the gate. All tickets are $40.

Joshua LeBerte is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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