Since 2015, Sloss Music and Arts Festival has been Birmingham, Alabama’s best. A diverse lineup of music acts in the rock, pop, and even rap genres has brought in names like Fitz and the Tantrums, Ben Harper, Manchester Orchestra, and Tyler the Creator. What makes the music and arts festival so unique is its location, the Sloss Furnaces, a former iron forge. Held every July, the event features 40 bands and four stages, alongside craft beer, cocktails, local food vendors, artisan goods, and live iron pouring.
1. Opt for the two-day pass.
While it may be tempting to go for the single day pass, which runs for $95, it’s well worth it for your money to get the two-day pass for $155. Unless you live in Birmingham, one day isn’t enough. The lineup is stacked with artists on both days, so you don’t want to miss a thing.
2. Stay nearby and avoid driving.
Parking can be a steep cost to add to your budget and is completely avoidable. If you stay at one of the downtown hotels, like The Redmont Hotel Birmingham, Curio Collection by Hilton, you can easily walk, although it’s a moderate distance. You can also rent a bike. Ridesharing can be tricky, especially since everyone leaves at the same time and there can be confusion with which car is yours.
3. Don’t splurge on all food.
Save your beer money by eating only one meal at the festival. The food trucks offer a little bit of everything, all of it delicious, but the prices are escalated. Instead, have a cheaper meal downtown or in nearby Avondale before you go into the festival for the day. And don’t forget to hydrate in between drinks to keep from fainting in the Alabama humidity!
4. Pack light for security.
If you want to breeze through security and have more time to see your favorite musicians, pack little. But if you must bring a small backpack, include something to sit on, like a blanket or air lounger, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, empty water bottle, and an extra battery for your phone.
5. Dress for any weather.
Gates open at 12:30 pm every day and close again at 11:30. So be prepared for any and all weather. Temperatures are usually in the high 80s Fahrenheit, if not hotter, but past years have seen torrential rains as well. Wear comfortable clothing, like flowy dresses or shorts, and have an extra layer in case you get cold when the sun goes down.
6. Plan your day.
Don’t miss your favorite artists because you’re not sure where they’re playing! Sloss Fest has an app for both Apple and Android devices that shows who is playing when. They also have paper schedules and maps upon your arrival. There are four stages, but none are more than a five-minute walk from one another.
7. Set aside time to explore Birmingham.
Don’t miss out on the destination the festival takes place in. Set aside at least a few hours to see the museums, dine at the restaurants, and explore the unique neighborhoods of Birmingham.