Orion + Muscle Shoals Sound Studio receive exciting 2022 award

partnership in tourism award
Key players in the development of Huntsville’s vibrant music scene. (TVG Hospitality)

Just in time for Huntsville Music Month! Last week, the Alabama Tourism Department held their annual awards banquet in Auburn, Alabama. The North Alabama area made a strong appearance, with the Orion Amphitheater and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio jointly receiving the Partnership in Tourism Award.

Partnership in Tourism Award

The collaborative efforts between the Orion Amphitheater and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio showcase how invested our area is in bringing state-of-the-art entertainment to North Alabama. This award recognizes those efforts, highlighting the teamwork between the two organizations to bring in tourism to the state. State officials called this a “brilliant” example of synergistic tourism efforts.

The partnership

august events orion
See a show you won’t forget. (Orion Ampitheater / Facebook)

The Orion Amphitheater has partered with Muscle Shoals Sound Studio since its early days. The strong ties are apparent on their website:

With its proximity to the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Huntsville enjoys its status as part of the Americana Music Triangle, known for its cultural achievement as the birthplace of one of our country’s greatest exports, music – particularly blues, soul and rock’n’roll.

The Orion Amphitheater’s “About” Page

Even today, the team at the Orion continues to visit the studios in the Muscle Shoals area to keep up the connection and stay rooted in the area’s rich music history.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

muscle shoals sound studio
This historic studio has hosted famous musicians. (Muscle Shoals Sound Studio / Facebook)

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is one of North Alabama’s most historic music destinations. A band by the name of The Swampers—who recorded with artists like Etta James and Aretha Franklin—opened the studio in 1969.

This little building at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Alabama, has hosted artists such as The Rolling Stones and The Black Keys.

The Swampers outgrew this original location, and the building was used for other purposes before finally being abandoned. More recently, though, the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation purchased the Jackson Highway building to restore it.

Today, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is a tourist destination as well as a recording studio. You can visit the site Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-4PM to get a tour (given every half-hour). Check out their merch, too!

Get in on the action

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Rock out this September. (Josh Weichman / Orion Amphitheater on Facebook)

So, ready to support your local music scene—and have tons of fun while doing it? Grab tickets to the Orion’s upcoming concerts—we’re definitely looking forward to the Stevie Nicks concert in October. There’s plenty more concerts coming up, though, like Luke Bryan and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Want a piece of the action going on at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio? They’re run by a nonprofit, so you can donate to help keep the history alive. Or, schedule a tour to check it out in person.

  • Hours: Tuesday-Friday | 10AM-4PM
  • Location: 3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield, Alabama 35660
  • Website

Proud of your local music scene? Let us know on social media with our hashtag #hvilleblast or tag us @hvilleblast.

Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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