Secret Stages + SXSW

Secret Stages is an annual 2-day pub-crawl music festival that takes place in early August in Downtown Birmingham.

Check out Bitter Southerner’s review of SS 2016!

“Instead of the sprawl of City Stages, Secret Stages carefully curates acts on the rise throughout a variety of genres, united, more than anything else, by a prevailing sense of good taste.”


“Despite the lack of marquee headliners, that are used to draw large audiences and boost attendance, Secret Stages continues to be a breath of fresh air in its commitment to local artists and their promotion. This ethic has proven to be effective as more and more people each year choose to attend Secret Stages.”

— The Blue Indian (Macon)

“In this age of instant gratification, the concept of a music festival where the main goal is for patrons to discover new bands – rather than see bands they already know and love – is risky to say the least. Yet here we are, in the fifth year of Secret Stages, and it’s going as strong as ever.”


“It would have been anybody’s guess that Birmingham would host the best Indie Festival in the Southeast.”

— The Nashville Bridge

“…one of the most exciting new music festivals in the Southeast”

— The Audiovore

“Secret Stages is already a far, far better music festival than anyone dreamed it might be.”

— Black & White

“…turned out to be the indie rock party of the year in the Southeast with thousands of fans showing up through a simple blog and word of mouth.”

— Performer

“…one of the biggest bangs for your buck you’re likely to find anywhere.”

— Chattanooga Pulse

Secret Stages aims to help facilitate and encourage both a working local music industry and a vibrant downtown Birmingham by:

Bringing unique and extraordinary music talent to Birmingham

For six years Secret Stages has presented some of the best talent that the Southeast and the nation have to offer. Whether it’s free jazz, folk, hip hop, country, or something new we have yet to discover, our only concern is that it be great. A few of our more notable alumni include:

Increasing the opportunity for music education for area school children

Secret Stages understands that education is vital to growing strong and productive communities. An education in music can spark a rewarding and lifelong passion. We seek to help make that education available and affordable to as many of Birmingham’s youth as possible.

SCROLLWORKS YOUTH MUSIC SCHOOL — Since 2012, Secret Stages has partnered with Scrollworks Youth Music School. Scrollworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing music education to Birmingham area school kids of all ages. Secret Stages has aided Scrollworks by sponsoring instrument drives, hosting semester ending performances, and through cash donations. In 2015, we were able to donate more that $2,000 to this organization.

GIRLS ROCK BHAM — 2015 began a new relationship between Secret Stages and Girls Rock B’ham. Girls Rock Camp is a week-long program serving girls ages 9-16 in the Birmingham areas. During the week, campers learn an instrument, form a band and write an original song. In addition, the girls will participate in workshops centered around empowerment and creativity such as songwriting, DJing, image & identity, zine-Making, screen-printing, design and more, all designed to cultivate self-esteem & healthy expression. Secret Stages hosted the Girls Rock end of camp performance and aided with promotions.

Providing performance, educational, and networking opportunities for area musicians

By curating an event that is solely dedicated to quality music, Secret Stages hopes to provide a platform for a variety of local artists. Bands who are established in the local scene use Secret Stages as a way to reach a new audience, often times debuting new material or a new direction. New bands, whether they be just young or newly formed, can look to Secret Stages as an opportunity to launch their sound and gain that first modicum of legitimacy in the local scene.

For the last 4 years Secret Stages has provided, at no charge, a licensed entertainment lawyer to consult with any band who may have questions about the complicated and every-changing music industry.

Bringing regional and national industry focus and media attention to Birmingham’s vibrant music scene

Each year, Secret Stages actively recruits regional press, record label executives, and other industry players to come to Birmingham. Our hope is to give all bands some much needed and well deserved exposure to the types of industry professionals that can help them take the next step in their music careers. We take special pride in seeing local artists gain this type of respect. The industry in Birmingham is developing and we aim to be a part of a new attitude that says you can get there from here.

Focusing regional attention on the burgeoning downtown Birmingham business community

From its inception, one of Secret Stages’ central goals has been to be a partner in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Birmingham. We are proud to play a role in helping people discover or rediscover the excitement of a vibrant city center and we have been inspired by the growth and development of the area.

Every year we hear comments like, “I had no idea this place existed,” or, “I need to come down here more often. This is great.” We aim to keep that spirit of discovery alive as more and more people choose downtown Birmingham as the spot to launch their next big idea.

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