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Annual FestivalSouth Celebration Gets Underway June 8 in Hattiesburg

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 09:57am | By: Mike Lopinto

Hattiesburg comes alive with the sounds of music all day, every day during the fourth season of FestivalSouth, Mississippi's only multi-genre arts festival, which will be held June 8-22.

Presented by the Hattiesburg Concert Association and Artistic Director Dr. Jay Dean this year's festival features artists from across the state and around the world. FestivalSouth offers two full weeks of art, music, dance, food and fun for local residents, families, and cultural tourists.

Set amid the historic backdrop of Hattiesburg, this year's festival features many events including a variety of musical performances ranging from classical, blues, Broadway and more.

“From the beginning, I wanted this festival to be representative of the entire world of

the arts,” Dean said. “People enjoy creative arts of all types and FestivalSouth offers

Hattiesburg residents, as well as visitors to our city, the opportunity to experience just that – a world of arts.”

FestivalSouth brings events to local coffee shops, bookstores, eateries, worship facilities and downtown venues. Artie Events, for children, are scheduled throughout the festival and offer parents an inexpensive outing for the whole family.

“Artie” was created by Hattiesburg native Ivey Swan. “Artie is a multi talented paint brush who paints of course, but also play instruments, dances and loves anything to do with the arts,” said Swan. “He promotes the arts to children in a fun way. So parents and children can look for Artie for events just for them.”

Most events have a minimal charge but the festival offers a “Circle Pass” that covers admission to all festival performances. This year's highlights include the following:


The Blues Brotherhood

Saturday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.

Saenger Theatre

The Blues Brotherhood, a tribute to the Blues Brothers, covers the best material from the original motion picture as well as other classic blues, funk, and soul tunes in a style unique to the "Brotherhood.” Featuring native Mississippian, internationally acclaimed trombonist and arranger, Tom “Bones” Malone, of the original film and “Late Show with David Letterman” fame, hold on to your hats (and shades, for that matter) as the boys capture the sound, energy, and persona that propelled the original into the phenomenon that still thrills audiences around the world.



Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 16 at 2 p.m.

Saenger Theatre

Hairspray, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, is family-friendly fun piled bouffant high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. Tracy Turnblad, is a big girl with the big hair and an even bigger passion – to dance! It's 1962 and Tracy wins a spot on the local TV dance program, “The Corny Collins Show.” Overnight Tracy is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can an unconventional trendsetter in dance, music and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her ‘do? Joining performers who have come from across the country as part of Command Performance Broadway Intensive, local favorite Mike Lopinto kicks up his heels as Edna Turnblad to bring this limited engagement to FestivalSouth.


Aria: A Cirque de la Symphonie Spectacular

Saturday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.

Saenger Theatre

Aria, a FestivalSouth original production, combines the spectacular cirque acrobatics with the some of the most glorious music ever composed. Enjoy phenomenal singing, spectacularvisuals, and thrilling orchestral music by an international cast that will have you on your feat for an amazing FestivalFinale FestivalSouth offers events for music lovers of every taste. Circle Passes are now available at, 601.266.5418 and 800.844.8425. For more information,contact the Hattiesburg's Visitors Center at 866.4-HATTIE or visit Individual event tickets go on sale April 15.