CULLMAN — City officials met with musician Sara Evans Tuesday evening to discuss the viability of hosting an annual festival somewhere in Cullman. Before long, the city-led Rock the South might not be the only annual music festival in town.
Cullman Mayor Max Townson and some members of the city council met with Evans, her husband Jay Barker and concert promoters about the project Tuesday evening in Birmingham. Though several details still need to be worked out, Townson said the initial discussions have gone well.
“What we’re talking about is another type of music festival,” Townson said. “They love our location, right here on Interstate 65, and we’re working now to set up a follow-up meeting in Cullman to talk about things like sponsorship and location. I’ve invited them to come to Cullman, bring their family, and see what we have to offer here. We just want to show her we’re sincere.”
After drawing huge crowds with Rock the South earlier this year, officials say the City of Cullman proved itself as a viable location for a music festival. Now, they hope that success will be enough to draw in Evans’ proposed festival for a long-term commitment.
“Rock the South had a tremendous impact for us, absolutely,” Townson said, referring to the April concert that drew more than 12,000 to Heritage Park. “Since then, we’ve been getting contacted about hosting things.”
Evans has been a mainstay of the Nashville country scene for more than a decade, and has earned dozens of industry awards and nominations throughout her career.
“She is well-thought-of in country music, and a great entertainer,” Townson said. “She’s wanting to put something together that could be a legacy.”
If the festival becomes a reality, Heritage Park would be one possible destination — though talk of a potential amphitheater at the city’s recently-purchased Burrow property on County Road 222 could come into play down the line.
Officials say the festival would likely feature numerous acts, chosen by Evans, and serve as a showcase for the State of Alabama.
“They’re talking about a festival that could show what makes Alabama great, from college football to barbecue," Townson said. "Something that really shows off southern hospitality.”