The City of Birmingham on Saturday will host Birmingham Freedom Fest — a music and empowerment festival held at Kelly Ingram Park, the footprint of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. The festival will return this summer after a three-year hiatus for in-person experiences due to COVID-19. The festival hosted a virtual experience in 2020 and 2021, attracting more than 60,000 views across the country.
The event will kick off at 10 a.m. with free empowerment sessions that will take place inside of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and 16th Street Baptist Church. The music experience will kick off at 3 p.m. in Kelly Ingram Park. Gates will open for the music festival at 1 p.m.
Birmingham Freedom Fest is designed as a celebration of heritage. It is an innovative event to help celebrate the triumphs of Birmingham’s civil rights history and its commitment to forging a united future. The festival will be part of the City of Birmingham’s Forging Justice, a commemoration of 60 years since the 1963 Birmingham campaign for civil and human rights.
The festival’s empowerment panels will feature topics centered around the 60th commemoration of the Birmingham Civil Rights Campaign, sports & entertainment, financial education, celebration of 50 Years of Hip-Hop and more.
Speakers for this year’s event includes Mayor Randall L. Woodfin; Dr. Andrew Manis, Emeritus Professor of History, Middle Georgia State University; Janice Kelsey, Civil Rights Activists & Retired Educator; Roy S. Johnson, Columnist & Director of Content Development, Alabama Media Group; Chad Slade, Former NFL Lineman and Auburn University Athlete; Leonard Smoot, Head Coach, Miles College Golf Team; Laurence Salvary, Podcaster & Hip Hop Enthusiast, DJ Rahdu Mahdi, Editor-In-Chief, Bama Loves Soul, Isaac Cooper, Founder & CEO, IMC Financial Consulting, Bob Dickerson, Executive Director, Birmingham Business Resource Center and more.
Musical performers for the festival include local and regional artists Halo Wheeler, Deqn Sue & Kelvin Wooten, Translee, Aretta Woodruff, Dre Murro, and DJ Gap. Grammy-nominated R&B artist, Jidenna will also perform during the festival and Southern Hip-Hop Emcee, Big K.R.I.T. will be headlining this year’s event.
An opening special tribute to the 60th commemoration to the Birmingham Civil Rights Campaign will feature an all-star ensemble including Birmingham native and American Idol Winner (season 2), Ruben Studdard, The Voice Finalist (season 23), D Smooth, Kristen Glover, Sherri Brown, and gospel group Jeremy Hill & Remnant.
This tribute will be produced by Alabama native, Terrence Baldwin. Tickets for the music festival are $20 and be purchased at www.freedomfestbhm.com.
Birmingham Freedom Fest 2023 is sponsored by City of Birmingham, PNC Bank, Coca Cola, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, CREED63, Birmingham Parking Authority, IMC Financial Consulting, Avadian Credit Union, Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, Music Education on Wheels (M.E.O.W.), WBHM-NPR, Alabama Appleseed, The Birmingham Times and AL.com.
There will be a strict bag policy that all ticketholders attending the music festival will need to adhere to. Please click here to check out an official list of prohibited items along with other general information such as parking and more. To access the media credential application, please click here. To download approved promotional materials, click here.