|Location(s)||Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.|
BayFest was an annual three-day music festival held in the heart of downtown Mobile, Alabama. Founded in 1995, the festival offered a variety of music including pop, jazz, classic rock, alternative, R&B, rap, gospel, and modern rock. It was based at Bienville Square. The Launching Pad stage during Bayfest focused on local and regional talent. The event encouraged "going green" by providing for recycling throughout the grounds.
After a poor lineup and some years of diminishing interest, organizers for Bayfest announced its ending two weeks before its planned 2015 festival.
Growing from an initial attendance of 50,000 people in 1995, BayFest became known for its array of musical talent suited to a wide variety of tastes. In 2003, the festival included over 125 live musical acts on nine stages and had an average attendance of more than 200,000 people during the three-day weekend each year. Throughout the past fifteen years, acts such as 3 Doors Down, Alice in Chains, B.B. King, The Beach Boys, Big & Rich, Collective Soul, Hootie & the Blowfish, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes, Ludacris, The Temptations, Travis Tritt, Stone Temple Pilots, Uncle Kracker, and Velvet Revolver have performed at BayFest.
The 2008 lineup included Better Than Ezra, Bow Wow, Buckcherry, Eric Church, Kid Rock, Nelly, Puddle of Mudd, Sister Hazel, Three Days Grace, and Wynonna Judd. During its first eleven years, BayFest was voted six times as Mobile's "Best Annual Event" in Mobile Bay Monthly magazine, surpassing the city's celebration of Mardi Gras. It has been named as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's "Top 20 Events" several times since 1995.
In its later years, the event suffered from declining interest. Tropical Storm Karen adversely affected the festival in 2013. Financial concerns briefly led organizers to reschedule the 2015 event to the Grounds in West Mobile, before deciding to remain in downtown Mobile despite their difficulties. On September 16, 2015, organizers announced the event's ending, as well as the cancellation of its planned 21st festival.
The festival was organized each year by BayFest, Inc., a non-profit organization consisting of more than 1000 non-paid volunteers. All ticket sales were invested directly back into the festival for upcoming events.
Bayfest 2013 took place on October 4-6, 2013.
Bayfest 2012 took place from October 5-7, 2012 and the lineup included: Journey, Luke Bryan, Bush, Pretty Lights, Big & Rich, Buckcherry, My Darkest Days, Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Ledisi, Al Green, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Chris Cagle, Eric Benét, Ruben Studdard, Willie Nelson, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Rose Royce, Charlie Wilson, Brandon Green, Tank, Mimosa, The Campaign 1984, and Dennis Nelson.
Bayfest 2011 took place from October 7-9, 2011 and the lineup included: Korn, Blake Shelton, 3 Doors Down, Duran Duran, Hinder, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Ludacris, Drowning Pool, Anthony Hamilton, Theory of a Deadman, Shaggy, Wiz Khalifa, NEEDTOBREATHE, The Campaign 1984, and Dennis Nelson.
Bayfest 2010 took place from October 1-3, 2010 and the lineup included: Godsmack, Shinedown, Mötley Crüe, Nelly, Five Finger Death Punch, Saving Abel, Lady Antebellum, Adelitas Way, Papa Roach, Sick Puppies, Skillet, Fuel, Tonic, Rehab, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Grayson Capps, Evans Blue
Bayfest 2009 took place from October 2-4, 2009 and the lineup included: Stone Temple Pilots, 3 Doors Down, Steve Miller Band, Train, Ludacris, Chevelle, Cage the Elephant, Cavo, Halestorm, Pop Evil, and Meat Puppets.
Bayfest 2008 took place from October 3-5, 2008 and the lineup included: Darius Rucker, Kid Rock, Three Days Grace, Candlebox, Eric Church, Nelly, Blake Shelton, Better Than Ezra, David Nail, Sister Hazel, Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, P.O.D., and Bow Wow. BuckCherry.
Bayfest 2007 took place from October 5-7, 2007 and the lineup included: Velvet Revolver, Alice in Chains, Blue Öyster Cult, Big & Rich, LeAnn Rimes, Ludacris, Daughtry, Hellyeah, Flyleaf, John Miller, Luke Bryan, Willie Clayton, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Sparta, Operator, The S.O.S. Band, Chaka Khan, Brick, Barry Richman, and Dennis Nelson.
Bayfest 2006 took place from October 6-8, 2006 and the lineup included: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gretchen Wilson, MC Hammer, Keith Anderson, Shinedown, Evans Blue, 10 Years, Al Green, Michael Bolton, Gary Allan, Trick Pony, Hinder, Blaine Larsen, and The Wreckers.
Bayfest 2005 took place from October 7-9, 2005 and the lineup included: Widespread Panic, Grand Funk Railroad, Jason Aldean, The Grass Roots, Hot Apple Pie, Craig Morgan, Dark New Day, Elvin Bishop, The Lowdown, Kool & the Gang, and Adam Holt & The Blues Congregation.
Bayfest 2004 took place from October 1-3, 2004 and the lineup included: The Beach Boys, The Charlie Daniels Band, Travis Tritt, Collective Soul, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Uncle Kracker, Ruben Studdard, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Josh Turner, John Miller, Brad Cotter, Regina Belle, Buddy Jewell, The Commodores, Will Downing, Andy Smith, Dr. Hook, Edwin McCain, Emerson Drive, The Movement, and Dennis Nelson.
Bayfest 2003 took place from October 3-5, 2003 and the lineup included: Village People, Keith Urban, John Miller, Sugar Ray, Ludacris, Blue October, Trace Adkins, Andy Griggs, The Gap Band, Default, Billy Currington, The Manhattans, and Bobby "Blue" Bland.
Bayfest 2002 took place from October 4-6, 2002 and the headliner was Stone Temple Pilots.
Bayfest 2001 took place from October 5-7, 2001 and the headliner was Live.
Bayfest 1996 took place from October 4-6, 1996 and the headliner was Widespread Panic.
- Lawrence Specker (September 16, 2015). "BayFest 2015 organizers: Festival is canceled, effective immediately". AL.com. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Behind the Music: BayFest's Economic Impact" (PDF). "The Business View". "Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce". October 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "About BayFest". "Bayfest, Inc.". Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Mobile Bayfest 2008 Lineup". Press-Register. 2008-09-05. Archived from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- Lawrence Specker (March 26, 2015). "BayFest chief: 'It is a downtown event, that's where our heart is'". AL.com. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Countdown to BayFest". City of Mobile. 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2008-09-17.