In the heart of the Great Recession, Birmingham’s long-standing music festival, City Stages, was dying. Birminghamians had grown weary of it. The good acts were being drawn to Bonnaroo in Tennessee and Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Urban music festivals were suffering. Midtown Madness in Atlanta had already been pulled off life support.
We were brought in to help. And… we knew the patient wasn’t well. We created a grass roots campaign that employed posters featuring what individuals loved about City Stages. Hundreds of different posters began appearing all over the city. Teams of volunteers taped, stapled and glued posters all over the Birmingham DMA. We pulled out all the stops. Excellent collateral pieces to attract sponsors. Cool posters. Television spots. Radio. Directories. Tickets. You name it – we had our hand in it. Response to the work was loud and unanimously positive. Ebullience was the 50-cent word of the day!
But the fact is, while we thought we were brought in to administer CPR… it turned out to be palliative care. We will miss City Stages. It was good for Birmingham. And we will always be proud of the work we did in trying to save it.