FestivalSouth lineup announced

A press conference was held Monday to announce the entertainment lineup for FestivalSouth.

The festival will run from June 6 to June 20 and feature incredible art, music, film, and performances. This is FestivalSouth's sixth year and this year it promises to be bigger and better than ever before, featuring 90 events over a two week period.

The headliner for opening night will be Under the Boardwalk. The performance will feature '60s music at the Saenger Theatre with a local band providing the talent. The next weekend's big performer will be Broadway star Linda Eder. The finale will be Symphony Idol. Three finalists from American Idol with orchestra accompaniment will grace the stage to culminate the festival.

A film component will be included for the first time this year. A film expo at the Grand Theatre will kick off the festival.

"We're going to have narrative feature films, documentaries, and short films from local and international filmmakers," said Miles Doleac, actor and filmmaker. "It's time for Mississippi to go all-in for film and adding a film component to FestivalSouth is the next step,"

Kids will have plenty to do as well. Eight events ranging from puppet shows to music to painting classes will be available for  the festival's younger attendees.

Each year the festival draws thousands of people to Hattiesburg, boosting the economy and showing folks from all over what the Hub City has to offer.

"Last year we had 17,000 people in two weeks that were staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants, shopping in our stores,"said Dr. Mike Lopinto, artistic director of Festival South. "And they were buying tickets and putting back into the creative economy that's here."