It’s almost time for summer, and that means warm afternoons, cold drinks and plenty of opportunities to get everyone out of the house and into some great new tunes at one of the region’s many music fests.

New this year is Heflin’s Rajun Cajun festival, featuring Taylor Hicks. This all-day concert benefiting the Hollis Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department starts at noon with acts like Buck Wild and Young Sullivan holding court until Hicks’ finale, after which the “American Idol” winner will sign autographs.

Vendors will serve foods like crawfish, BBQ and Cajun “gator on a stick” — which is exactly what it sounds like.

If you’re looking to rock out a little bigger, there are a variety of festivals throughout the next few months, featuring acts such as The Black Keys at the Hangout Festival, Third Eye Blind at Riverfest and Joan Jett at the Riverbend festival.

Hangout Fest

What: Weekend festival on the beach featuring national and worldwide acts from a wide mix of genres

When: May 16-18

Where: The Hangout, Gulf Shores

Lineup: The Black Keys, The Killers, Outkast and Jack Johnson, among many others. Thursday kick-off party lineup includes Girl Talk, Iron and Wine and others.

Cost: The festival itself is sold out, but tickets to the kick-off party are still available for $50.

River Jam Music Festival

What: A free two-day music festival featuring local and regional artists

When: May 16-17

Where: Friday at Union Station Train Shed, Saturday at Riverfront Amphitheater, Montgomery

Lineup: Rosco Bandana, AJ Ghent, Reggie Hines, Chuck Leavell and others

Cost: Free

Rajun’ Cajun Festival

What: Cajun-food themed all-day concert

When: May 17

Where: Heflin

Lineup: Taylor Hicks, Buck Wild, Young Sullivan, Joshua Travis Band, Ryan Robertson Band

Cost: Adults $20, children 10 and under $15

The Acoustic Café

What: Three-day acoustic festival featuring stringed musicians and singers

When: May 23-24

Where: Haleyville

Lineup: Pokey LaFarge, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Blue Ribbon Healers and others

Cost: Advance tickets $50, at the door $60

Rome River Jam

What: Outdoor concert and tailgate

When: May 24

Where: Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, Rome, Ga.

Lineup: Cole Swindell, John Pardi, Adam Sanders, Old Dominion, Babes Bayou Band and Five40

Cost: Advance tickets $20, at the gate $30, tailgate passes $20

The Preserve Jazz Festival

What: World-class outdoor jazz festival

When: May 25

Where: Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham

Lineup: Larry Mitchell, Vann Burchfield, Keith “Cashmere” Williams, Roman Street and others

Cost: General admission $35, VIP $125

Hank Williams Festival

What: 35th annual festival in honor of country singer and Alabama native Hank Williams

When: June 6-7

Where: Hank Williams Music Park,


Lineup: Gene Watson, Colon Leatherwood, Jeff Whitlow and others

Cost: Friday $15, Saturday $25, two-day pass $30

Riverbend Festival

What: Nine-day multi-stage festival with mix of music genres

When: June 6-14

Where: The banks of the Tennessee River, Chattanooga

Lineup: Boston, Buddy Guy, Widespread Panic, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and many others

Cost: General admission for nine days $35, one-night wristband $26


Alabaster Cityfest

What: Free all-day outdoor music festival

When: June 7

Where: The grounds of Alabaster Municipal Park and Thompson Middle School, Alabaster

Lineup: Rodney Atkins, Fuel, 2 Blu & The Lucky Stiffs, Atticus Avenue and others

Cost: Free


What: Four-day multi-stage festival featuring a mix of music genres, comedy and more

When: June 12-15

Where: 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn.

Lineup: Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Richie, The Flaming Lips and many others

Cost: General admission $284.50

Gadsden Riverfest

What: Two-day festival by the Coosa River

When: June 13-14

Where: Highway 411 in Gadsden

Lineup: Third Eye Blind, Wynonna Judd, Jeremy Jackson Band and others

Cost: Adult weekend pass $35, weekend pass for children 11 and under $10

Alexander City Jazz Fest

What: Free two-day outdoor jazz festival

When: June 13-14

Where: Downtown Alexander City

Lineup: TBA

Cost: Free