Like many of the best ideas from the last 18 months, the BirmingFam Fest was dreamed up during COVID-19 lockdown by Josh Cosio and Billy Rodgers, both of Framework, an event company headquartered here in the Magic City. Based in Cahaba Heights and in business since early 2016, Framework is the end-all be-all for local and national events — Cosio and Rodgers have planned and executed elite gatherings everywhere from Las Vegas and Detroit to Wisconsin and even Hawaii. Cosio pointed out that one of the company’s first clients, CrossFit, proved to be “a good start that led to a lot of opportunities,” and Framework’s credibility has grown from there.
During the lull of Covid, the Framework team concentrated on planning future endeavors — including the World Games coming to Birmingham in 2022 — and when the pandemic’s danger subsided, they decided it was high time for a homegrown event. Now, Cosio and Rodgers, together with Brad Reed of TrimTab Brewing Company, are gearing up for the first-ever BirmingFam Fest on September 11 and 12, just in time to kick off the season of autumn. “We wanted to add more local events to our schedule, and we knew people would want to get together again,” noted Cosio, who is serving as the event manager for BirmingFam.
Cosio approached one of his personal favorite breweries in town, TrimTab, and was greeted with enthusiasm — “They loved the idea of a big, fun festival,” he said. With that, the team started brainstorming what BirmingFam would consist of — certainly great local music, local food, local goods and, of course, local beer, all for the sake of a local cause. And thanks to Framework and TrimTab keeping the whole thing affordable — it costs just $100 to participate as a vendor — BirmingFam is attracting a number of noteworthy artisans and restaurants.
Just one $40 ticket covers both Saturday and Sunday (or spend $100 for an upgraded VIP ticket) and attendees will enjoy music from The Blips, a well-known Birmingham band, and Wilderado, a folk band from Tulsa, Oklahoma, plus other local acts in an “array of genres.” Kid-friendly activities, a doughnut-eating contest sponsored by Hero Doughnuts & Buns and even morning yoga sessions are part of the BirmingFam plan as well.
Folks who buy tickets to attend the Fest will love knowing the event is benefiting Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s Center for Food Education, soon to be erected in downtown Birmingham. Ten dollars from each ticket go to the cause; Cosio explained that TrimTab “wanted to partner with something they believe in.”
“They aren’t just focused on revenue for the brewery,” he explained. “TrimTab’s goal is to throw a party where everyone can have fun, and the community can benefit.”