Getting to Rewind South can be a fun adventure, but it does require some planning and preparation. Rewind South is an annual music festival held in Birmingham, Alabama that celebrates southern music and culture. Music lovers from all over flock to the festival to enjoy performances from country, blues, rock, bluegrass and more. If you’re interested in attending Rewind South, here are some tips on how to get there and make the most of your experience.
Purchase tickets in advance
The first step is to buy your Rewind South tickets early. This music festival is popular and tends to sell out quickly. Tickets can be purchased online through the festival’s official website. There are options for single day passes or full weekend passes. VIP packages with added perks are also available. Buying ahead of time ensures you have tickets in hand and can start planning the rest of your festival schedule and transportation.
Figure out transportation
Rewind South takes place at Sloss Furnaces, an old iron-making blast furnace site turned historic landmark and event venue in Birmingham. The furnaces are located just outside of downtown Birmingham. When determining how to get there, you’ll need to factor in your starting location and whether or not you’ll have a car. Here are some transportation options to consider:
If you live within reasonable driving distance, driving yourself is often the easiest option. Sloss Furnaces has on-site parking available for purchase along with some free street parking options nearby. Use a maps app to plot the route and get directions. Be sure to account for traffic around the Birmingham area when choosing drive times.
Services like Uber and Lyft operate in Birmingham and provide an alternative to driving yourself. This can be a convenient option if you’re not familiar with the area or don’t want the hassle of parking. Rideshares can drop you off directly at the festival entrance. Prices vary based on demand.
Birmingham has a public bus system called the MAX that services the greater metropolitan area. There is a bus stop about a half mile from the festival grounds that can be utilized. You can plan your trip using the route maps and schedules on the MAX website. Fares are $1.25 per ride.
Fly into Birmingham
If you’re coming from out of state, flying into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is an option. The airport is about 5 miles from Sloss Furnaces. From there, you could rent a car, take a taxi/rideshare, or utilize a shuttle service to get to the festival. Make sure to arrive early enough to allow time for transportation from the airport to the venue.
Hotels with shuttle service
Many hotels in the Birmingham area offer complimentary shuttle service for guests. When booking accommodations, look for hotels that provide shuttle transportation specifically to Sloss Furnaces or the downtown area. Some hotels have partnerships with the festival and will continuously shuttle guests to the event grounds all weekend.
Once you’ve sorted out your transportation, it’s time to find a place to stay. Birmingham has many hotel options ranging from budget motels to upscale downtown high rise suites. Consider proximity to the festival when booking. Here are some accommodation tips:
- Look for hotels within a 5-10 mile radius of Sloss Furnaces.
- Search for discounted festival rates at partner hotels.
- Reserve rooms along the shuttle line to easily get to the festival.
- Split rooms with friends to save money.
- Check Airbnb listings for more budget-friendly or unique lodging.
Know the festival schedule
Now that you have your Rewind South tickets and a place to stay, get familiar with the festival programming. Review the schedules and maps on the festival website or mobile app to plan out which artists you want to see each day. Create a custom schedule to make navigating the festival easier. Make sure to account for set times, travel between stages, food breaks, etc. Some key scheduling tips:
- Arrive early – Allow time to park, get scanned in, walk to stages, etc.
- Note set times – Don’t miss part of a set arriving late or leaving early.
- Plan meet-up spots – Pick spots to meet if getting separated from friends.
- Leave gaps for food, bathrooms, etc.
- Expect encore songs – Add 10-15 minutes to end of certain sets.
- Build in transition time between stages.
Having a roadmap for navigating the festival makes it much easier to see all the acts you’re excited for.
Packing the right gear is an important part of prepping for a music festival. Review the Rewind South allowed and prohibited items list when deciding what to bring. Essential items include:
- Sunscreen – Sloss Furnaces offers little shade.
- Hydration – Camelback or water bottles.
- Comfortable shoes – You’ll be on your feet all day.
- Layers – Birmingham’s April weather varies from hot to cool.
- Poncho or rain jacket – Festivals happen rain or shine.
- Cash – For quicker vendor transactions.
- Portable phone charger – Limited outlets to plug into.
- Blanket or towel – For sitting lawn areas.
Pack light during the day and leave extra layers and items at your hotel. Carrying too much gets uncomfortable. Plan ahead for each day’s weather and needs.
Arrive early on festival days
Make sure to arrive at Sloss Furnaces well before the first act you want to see each day. Large crowds and lines will inevitably lead to entry delays. Adding extra time prevents having to miss part of a favorite artist’s performance.
- Gates typically open 60-90 minutes prior to first act.
- Earlier arrivals miss the peak entry lines.
- Check festival social media for updated gate times.
- Obey traffic directions given by staff to parking areas.
- Have tickets ready for scanning at entrance.
- Separate into shorter security lines.
- Be patient and courteous to fellow attendees.
Finding your friends just inside the gates is easier before a huge crowd accumulates. Rushing creates unnecessary stress.
Stay fueled and hydrated
Festivals mean being outside in the elements for extended periods of time – often in hot sunny conditions for Rewind South. Keeping your energy and hydration up is key.
- Drink plenty of water – Stay ahead of thirst.
- Pack snacks – Granola bars, fruits, trail mix.
- Eat balanced meals – Don’t just snack on junk food.
- Refill water bottles for free at stations.
- Take shade/rest breaks to cool off.
- Dress in moisture-wicking layers.
- Apply sunscreen regularly.
- Limit alcohol consumption which leads to dehydration.
Proper nutrition and hydration will lead to a more enjoyable festival experience. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty or drained to replenish.
Make a plan for medical needs
When attending a major outdoor event, it’s good to be prepared for any minor medical issues that may arise. Hopefully it doesn’t happen, but quick access to medical assistance gives peace of mind.
- Pack any daily medications you take.
- Bring band-aids, pain relievers, antihistamines.
- Know locations of first aid tents.
- Save emergency phone numbers in your phone.
- Familiarize yourself with on-site medical services.
- Notify friends if you have a major medical condition.
- Wear a medical ID bracelet if needed.
- Bring copies of prescriptions if applicable.
Don’t let small medical issues put a damper on your festival fun. Report any major problems to emergency services personnel.
Utilize on-site services
Major festivals like Rewind South have extensive amenities and services available within the grounds to enhance your experience. Take advantage of what’s available.
- Download festival mobile app with schedules and maps.
- Bring sealed sunscreen to fill up at free stations.
- Purchase a locker to store extra layers and goods.
- Check out the vendor marketplace.
- Eat from the wide range of food truck options.
- Take advantage of entertainment between sets.
- Post photos and videos on social with #RewindSouth hashtag.
- Visit sponsor activations for games, charging stations, etc.
Exploring all aspects of the festival creates a more memorable experience and a chance to make new friends.
Respect the rules and others around you
Thousands of people all converge on Sloss Furnaces for Rewind South. Be mindful of those around you by following festival rules and being respectful. Some etiquette tips:
- Follow all posted venue policies.
- Dispose of trash in proper bins.
- Avoid prohibited items for safety of all.
- Keep your space tidy to avoid trips and falls.
- Be aware of others needing to move through crowds.
- Watch your language – many families attend.
- Help others in need seeking assistance.
- Applaud those providing medical aid.
- Kindly minimize talking during performances.
Treating your fellow attendees with courtesy creates the inclusive vibe Rewind South strives for.
Charge devices beforehand
Between following the schedules, posting photos, texting friends, and listening to music on your devices, battery life goes quick at festivals. Avoid draining your phone right when you need it most by planning ahead.
- Charge to full the night before.
- Bring an external battery pack.
- Turn off background app refresh.
- Put phone in low power mode.
- Lower screen brightness.
- Disable location services.
- Close unused apps.
- Limit social media usage.
Conserve battery for more important functions like emergency contacts, maps, and schedules. Pack chargers just in case.
One of the best parts of music festivals are the memories made with friends, new and old. Be sure to document your Rewind South experience.
- Take photos with friends throughout the event.
- Record video clips of your favorite performances.
- Collect artist merch and memorabilia.
- Journal throughout the weekend to capture thoughts.
- Save your tickets and wristbands.
- Post on social media using the festival hashtag.
Looking back on photos, videos, and mementos lets you relive the festival fun for years to come.
Attending Rewind South takes some pre-planning but pays off with an amazing festival weekend. Buy tickets early, map out travel and lodging, pack properly, fuel up, follow rules, and capture memories. Arriving prepared allows you to relax and soak up the best of southern music, food, and culture with friends. Follow these tips and get ready for an unforgettable experience each day at Rewind South!