Auburn’s Gogue Center to host artist festival

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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Gogue Performing Arts Center is inviting the community to the first Alabama Artists Festival on April 29. Award-winning artists will be performing during the all-day event. 

The gates will open at 2 p.m. Performances will be scheduled throughout the day.

The Gogue Center is expecting a sizeable crowd. Around 1,200 patrons have pre-registered for the event so far. The festival’s aim is to showcase artists and talent in Alabama from various geographic and musical backgrounds. 

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I love that our festival is shining a light on the outstanding and diverse musical talent of our state. Alabama has such a rich musical history—I don’t think we celebrate it enough. These artists, who are all either from Alabama or working in Alabama today, are just a few of the award-winning, chart-topping artists who call our state home,” said Jonathan Osbourne, director of communications at Gogue Center.

The festival lineup will consist of contemporary jazz musician Eric Essix at 2:30 p.m, Pop artist Elly Duhe at 4 p.m., Grammy award winner John Paul White at 5:30 p.m. and Blind Boys of Alabama at 7 p.m. 

Essix, of Birmingham, has performed with many quartet gospel groups over the years. Beginning his own label, Essix has released 28 albums to date. He was the headliner for the Gogue Center’s December 2020 GPAC LIVE: Alabama Artists Series. 

Duhe will take the stage at 4 p.m. Originally from Mobile, the artist spent her youth surrounded by musicians in New Orleans. Duhe, also a headliner for GPAC LIVE: Alabama Artists Series, has performed at Coachella and Lollapalooza. 

White, who has released two solo albums and co-owns a record label in his hometown, Florence, will perform at 5:30 p.m. The country/folk artist was also a headlining artist for the Gogue Center’s GPAC LIVE: Alabama Artists Series.

Blind Boys of Alabama are new artists to the Gogue Center. As American gospel music icons of the 21st century, the group has received five Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy. They have also performed at the White House for three different presidents. 

The Alabama Artist Festival was birthed from the GPAC LIVE: Alabama Artists Series, in which artists performed remotely during the pandemic. 

It was always our hope to bring these incredible artists back to Auburn. The livestreamed concerts were great, but nothing beats the energy of a live performance. And what better way to welcome them back to the Plains than with a festival?,” Osbourne said. “I’m thrilled we were able to add the incomparable Blind Boys of Alabama to our lineup, too.”

For concessions, local and regional vendors including Las Latinas, Mr. Mori Hibachi Express, The Rosemary Bistro, Amsterdam Café and German Food, Gifts and More will be at the festival.

Auburn University’s student radio station will be broadcasting live on WEGL (91.1 FM) during the event.

Patrons can register for the free event online at, by calling or visiting the Gogue Center in person. Guests may bring blankets and folding chairs as seating is general admission. 

The festival is being sponsored by the Daniel Foundation of Alabama and the National Endowment for the Arts.