FestivalSouth: A decade in the making, the Pine Belt’s multi-week music festival returns in June

By STAFF REPORTS,

For the 10th year, FestivalSouth events return to venues across the Pine Belt this June, with a fun-filled line-up of events, performances and opportunities. Presented by the Hattiesburg Concert Association, FestivalSouth is Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre festival, offering both free and ticketed events that showcase the area’s rich creative economy. There is something for everyone!.

This season includes several teaser events leading up to the official opening on Saturday, June 8. Starting with the FestivalSouth World Championship Golf Classic and Best of the Pine Belt Pub Crawl on May 31 through a sneak peek of Broadway’s Sister Act, featuring the Hub City Players, the stage will be set for two weeks of fun, with nearly 70 events at all times of day and for every age.

Nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Musical and based on the smash-hit film, Sister Act features an original score by eight-time Oscar and 10-time Grammy Award-winner Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Enchanted). Presented by Forrest County, this sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship takes to the stage June 6 – 8 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus with performances nightly at 7:30 and a special matinee at 1 p.m. June 8.

The first week includes programming for the whole family with FestivalMusic in the form of Coffee Concerts in the mornings, Artie Events for Families and FestivalZ Events for Teens each day, with afternoon classical music programming and special events in the evenings. Many of these include special guests invited for return performances in honor of the festival’s decade anniversary.

On Sunday, June 9, Afternoon of a Faun showcases the FestivalFavorite, Lagniappe Trio at Frist Presbyterian Church. Monday, June 10, Baroque trumpeter, Shelby Lewis, performs at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Tuesday, June 11, virtuoso pianist, Adonis Gonzalez, returns for a recital in Marsh Auditorium on the Southern Miss campus. Wednesday, June 12, one of the festival’s first performing groups, the Impromptu Trio, is in concert at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is the featured piece on Thursday, June 14, in a concert by the FestivalSouth Orchestral Academy at Thomas Fine Arts Auditorium at William Carey University. The program also features the young, virtuoso violinist, Matthew Hakkarainen, who performed at a Coffee Concert several years ago, making his stage debut at the festival with Mendelssohn’s violin concerto.

On Friday, June 14, famed Graceland Elvis impersonator Victor Trevino Jr. rocks Town Square Park as Summer Tunes and FestivalSouth present a tribute to the king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Get a move on with the Dog Days 5K walk and 2-mile run to benefit Hub City Service Dogs, grab a cool one, at the Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival, or take it inside with Southern Arena Theatre’s I Hate Hamlet, all returning to FestivalSouth on June 16.

The HCA’s sister organization, the Meistersingers join the festival in concert for a special Father’s Day program on Sunday, June 16.

Also on Father’s Day, the FestivalSouth Film Expo takes over The Grand Theater for a red carpet opening and hosts the “Music in the Movies Series” Double Feature, King Creole and Viva Las Vegas, featuring Elvis Presley. Other movies in the series include The Last Waltz, Purple Rain, The Dark Crystal – with live orchestra, This is Spinal Tap, All That Jazz, Almost Famous and the B.B. King documentary, The Life or Riley.

The FestivalFinale, presented by Forrest General, welcomes back one of the most acclaimed performers to the Saenger, Broadway legend Lind Eder. She joins the FestivalOrchestra in a triumphant evening of song at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22.

But wait, though the daily events might have ended, showcasing the area’s choices for the best and brightest, the Best of the Pine Belt Award Show wraps up an incredible month of June on Friday, June 28, at the Saenger in downtown Hattiesburg. Sponsored by Signature Magazine, this event is a perfect way to cap off the 10th anniversary of FestivalSouth. 

Events for the whole family including music, art, theatre, dance, food, and more are just around the corner at FestivalSouth 2019. Whether you attend just one event or join in all of the fun, residents and tourist alike will have amazing opportunities at their fingertips at FestivalSouth.

Tickets are available now at festivalsouth.org or 800.844.8425.