Houmapalooza returns

After an impressive initial outing, organizers scrambled to put together a second Houmapalooza, a day-long free outdoor concert showcasing some of the area’s top bands.

The Fall 2011 lineup for Nov. 5 includes an eclectic bunch, according to event organizer Glenda Toups, executive director of the Houma Regional Arts Council.

Toups said Houmapalooza’s goals are to provide south Louisiana musicians a venue to showcase their original pieces before a live audience, and to carry on a cultural tradition of community festivals in the area.

The first Houmapalooza was held in April outside the courthouse. In all, 10 bands, 54 musicians, participated in the 10-hour festival. More than 1,600 people attended the inaugural festival, Toups said. “We’re hoping to more than double that number this time.”

The music kicks off in Downtown Houma on the lawn of the parish courthouse beginning at noon with Isle Derniere. The hourly lineup includes Autumn High (at 1 p.m.), Toast Beards (2 p.m.), AF the Naysayer X Luke St. John (3 p.m.), Jak Locke (4 p.m.), Baby Bee (5 p.m.), England in 1819 (6 p.m.), SIGHTINSOUND (7 p.m.), Chaos of the Cosmos (8 p.m.) and, closing the event, Ben Labat and the Happy Devil (9 p.m.).

More than 30 bands competed for the coveted 10 openings, Toups said. “There should be a wider variety of musical genres this time,” she said. “There’s a lot of good talent.”

Plans are already in the works for Houmapalooza 2012, and Toups said several bands have already submitted material to the event’s website. “We’re encouraging bands to apply and take that first step toward exposing themselves to a public audience,” she said.

And LSU fans worried about missing Saturday’s matchup against Alabama, don’t fret. Toups said one of the food vendors is providing big screen TVs so festival goers can still catch up on the game.

“It should be an idea outdoor venue, and people can come out and hear all this great music in one place for free,” Toups said. “It’s a good thing for the community and a reminder of just how much talent we have right here. It should be a great day to hear what’s happening musically in our area.”