Content sponsored by Jasper Area Entertainment.
The city of Jasper, Ala., which boasts a population of approximately 14,300, has attracted more than 20,000 for its annual Foothills Festival in years past, and this year likely won’t be an exception.
Tucked at the base of the Appalachian foothills lies the charming city of Jasper. When walking the streets of its bustling, picturesque downtown– which has been rejuvenated in recent years through its involvement in the Main Street America program– it’s hard to picture a massive stage, grammy-winning musicians, fans by the thousands and well over 100 vendors filling the streets, but that’s exactly what you’ll find on one special weekend each September.
The Foothills Festival, aptly named for the city’s geography, celebrates the community of Jasper through two days of music, food, vendors and offers a good time had by all.
The festival, which originally started in 1997 with a slightly different format, was discontinued after 2000. Thirteen years later, work began to bring the festival back, but this time putting more emphasis on musical acts and framing the festival as a music event.
In the early years of the festival’s return, event organizers piqued audience interest with free admission and names like American Idol runner-up Bo Bice, who headlined in 2013, and country music’s then-rising-star Jason Isbell (ever heard of him?), who played the festival in 2014. Isbell went on to win his first-ever GRAMMY award the following year.
As the years passed, names like Shooter Jennings, Deana Carter, Whiskey Myers, Brent Cobb and more drew larger and larger crowds to the streets of Jasper, with the 2019 festival attracting more than twenty-one thousand attendees– a pivotal moment for not only the festival, but the city of Jasper as a whole. All the while, admission remained free to the public.
Though COVID-19 stole a year from festivalgoers in 2020, it came back better than ever, with some of the festival’s biggest headliners to date in 2021 which included bands St. Paul & the Broken Bones and The Steel Woods.
This year’s lineup certainly stands with the jaw-dropping headliners of years past and will only continue to add to the legacy of the Foothills Festival with iconic artists including The Marshall Tucker Band, Scott Stapp, Tonic, Vertical Horizon, Shane Profitt and Alabama native, Taylor Hunnicutt.
This year’s festival will begin, rain or shine, on Friday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. and will conclude on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 p.m. It is FREE admission for all.
For more information about the festival, lodging options and more, visit foothillsjasper.com.