City Stages is a three-day, family-friendly, arts and music festival that takes place in downtown Birmingham, Alabama in and around Linn Park. City Stages features 150 to 200 acts on anywhere from 9-11 stages ranging from hip-hop to country. Many of the world's renowned performers and musicians have made appearances at City Stages during the festival's 20-year history.
City Stages grew rapidly in its first 5 years from a small regional festival to a world-renowned music event. At its peak, the festival featured 13 stages and performance areas over a 13 block area.
In 2001, organizers of the festival moved the festival to May to have more flexibility in booking acts that normally have their own summer tour plans. Unfortunately, rainstorms drowned out the failed three-year experiment, and the festival racked up nearly a half million dollars in debt. The organizers have since moved the festival back to Father's Day weekend, the third weekend of June, and scaled down the number of acts, focusing on bigger-name headliners. 2004's festival was a success, allowing the organizers to retire some of its debt. As of February 2005, City Stages signed the Vines & Waldrep law firm as the festival's first title sponsor, changing the official name to Vines & Waldrep City Stages. However in 2006, the name changed again to "Waldrep Stewart & Kendricks, LLC City Stages Presented by Lanny Vines & Associates, LLC".
City Stages' organizers announced in November 2007 that they hired AC Entertainment, one of the co-producers for the successful Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, to help produce the Birmingham festival and will advise them for the next three years.
Also announced, the partnership will help aid the festival of eliminating a debt of $230,000 and to bring bigger acts - many who have forged relationships with Bonnaroo organizers - to the annual event. Both Bonnaroo and City Stages are held on the same weekend.
City Stages was held on June 13, 14 and 15 on Father's Day Weekend. Official attendance numbers of the festival have not been announced yet.