The University of Southern Mississippi in collaboration with the City of Hattiesburg announced this year’s Eaglepalooza will be held September 15. On stage to announce the event was Mayor Toby Barker, Student Government Association President McKenna Stone, Dean of Students Eddie Holloway and Vice President of Student Affairs Dee Dee Anderson.
Eaglepalooza, a free concert that has been held by the SGA for the past 15 years, is returning to downtown Hattiesburg and will be expanded with two separate stages and feature local artists.
“I am thrilled that we are back [downtown] for an event that started with the dream and hope that we could mesh the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi and the surrounding communities to look forward to a true town development,” Holloway said.
Councilwoman Mary Dryden, who represents downtown Hattiesburg in the fourth ward, said she was thrilled Eaglepalooza will return to downtown and explained its the first time Eaglepalooza will be held downtown since 2015.
In the announcement, Stone explained the biggest change in this year’s Eaglepalooza will be the partnership with Downtown Hattiesburg.
“One of the huge improvements is partnering with the city, making partners with businesses and associations because that means more people are getting excited and attracting crowds,” Stone said.
Barker said initiatives like Eaglepalooza build touchstones between Southern Miss students and the city that he hopes they will call home after graduation.
SGA is in the process of setting up a free transportation system for the event, but those details have not been cemented.
“We want the City of Hattiesburg to be a city that engages with its educational institutions and the students that go to that institution,” Barker explained.
“It’s so great to have Eaglepalooza return to downtown Hattiesburg,” Holloway said. “From the beginning, we wanted to extend our Hattiesburg campus to include the entire community in the spirit of Southern Miss.”
Music will start with local artists at 3 p.m. on the Leaf River Stage and run until 6 p.m. The headline opener will begin at 7 p.m. and the main act will follow at 8 p.m. at the Eaglepalooza stage.
Stone said a line-up will be announced next month, complete with the headlining acts.