I think we can all agree that as 2021 progresses, things are seriously looking up – vaccines are rolling out, the weather is beautiful, and, best of all, Panoply is back on.
Panoply is Huntsville’s famous three-day arts festival that takes place every spring at Big Spring Park and is a round up of local artists, food and drink vendors, and awesome music that brings the community together. This weekend, Panoply’s back, and it’s going to look a little different – but one thing that remains the same is the presence of local musical talent.
We had the privilege of spending an evening with Lana White and her bandmate, Kira Hughes, of Lana and the Seekers, who’ll be performing in the coveted Saturday afternoon spot to open for Southern rock sound the Vegabonds. They gave us some insight on what to expect not just from their act but from the festival as a whole.
First, though, let’s dive into what this year’s Panoply will look like and why Arts Huntsville is referring to it as ‘A Taste of Panoply.’
‘“A Taste of Panoply,’ a scaled-back version of the annual three-day arts festival, will be held from April 23-25, 2021, in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville. This year’s event will look different from previous years while providing the community with an opportunity to safely interact to celebrate and support the arts community.” – Arts Huntsville
This means a few major changes, most of which focus on social distancing, increased cleanliness and sanitizing protocols, and a donation-based pay structure. Find out more details here at the Arts Huntsville Panoply page.
What this year’s Panoply isn’t scaling back, however, is music. Their weekend lineup is an astounding collection of local and national talent, outlined in detail by Arts Huntsville:
FRIDAY APRIL 23
“The ticketed “A Taste of Panoply” Friday Festival Preview event kicks off with the Lamont Landers Band. Closing out the evening is Nashville-based headlining act The War And Treaty. The dynamic husband-and-wife duo were named emerging artists of the year by the Americana Music Association and were featured on the Today Show and at the 2021 Rose Bowl Parade Spectacular. The War And Treaty has previously performed with Mumford & Sons, toured with Jason Isbell and will be opening for John Legend on multiple tour dates this summer.
SATURDAY APRIL 24
Saturday on the Showcase Stage features local and regional talent throughout the day including the following acts: Tyler A.K., Them Damn Dogs, WANDA, Joe Cagle, DMRSoul and Lana White. Saturday night, the Unique Live Band will open for the headlining act The Vegabonds, who will close out the evening with a night of Southern rock music. The Alabama-born, Tennessee-bred group of five musicians released their fifth studio album “V” in 2019 and have previously opened for acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Gregg Allman.
The Lamont Landers Band
The War & Treaty
Them Damn Dogs
SUNDAY APRIL 25
On Sunday, “A Taste of Panoply” celebrates a day of Alabama Music, featuring a full-day lineup of artists from North Alabama with the following acts: Cotton and Clover, Alan Little and the Giants, Ally Cat and the Stray Dogs, Midlife Chrysler and The Beasley Brothers to the Showcase Stage.”
HuntsvilleMusic.com sat down with Lana White and Kira Hughes of Lana and the Seekers to talk Panoply, the Huntsville music scene, and women in music.
Lana and the Seekers is a Huntsville all-girl band comprised of Lana White, Kira Hughes, Canita Rogers, Alli Johnson, and Kim Coffey, all talented Huntsville musicians who play in other acts or solo but who are coming together with the shared vision of creating Huntsville’s own all-female rock group. And, for most of the band, it’s their first time playing Panoply – a fitting starting point for the 256 fixtures.
LANA AND THE SEEKERS INTERVIEW
They promise rock with intricate melodies, harmonizing, and ear-pleasing guitar riffs to kick off the Saturday evening lineup. I ask Lana about the band and their sound and she is, as always, easy to talk to, warm and open as if she’s an old friend and not someone I’ve only met once before. She and Kira have easy rapport and volley compliments back and forth with a genuineness that you can’t help but lean into, charmed by their earnestness.
“She’s the best drummer I know,” Lana enthuses at one point, as Kira, shyer by nature, affectionately shakes her head. Fewer than five minutes later, however, Kira’s giving it right back, describing how easy it is to put together a set list from Lana’s original music – “It’s all so good, there’s so much great stuff to choose from.”
And Lana and the Seekers will be playing their original music at Panoply, along with a few ‘girl rock’ power anthems to get the crowd singing along.
“We wanted to pay tribute to other all-female rock groups that have paved the way, so we’ve got the Bengals, the Go Gos, Heart,” Lana says, Kira nodding along as she speaks. This cohesion comes from years of knowing one another, though Lana and the Seekers haven’t gotten the chance to play together yet.
And we can think of a better stage to debut than Panoply’s.
Panoply arts festival will be happening at Big Spring Park this weekend, April 23rd – 25th, and will feature all manner of eclectic art from local and regional talent as well as good food, cold drinks, and fantastic music. Visit Arts Huntsville to learn more about ticketing, safety, and more – and we’ll see y’all there.
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Grace is the Content Director of HuntsvilleMusic.com and lives in Madison, AL, which really isn’t that far, guys.
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