The 5th Annual Charleston Bluegrass Festival returns to West Ashley, with two days of live music
by Lorne Chambers | Editor
Two years ago the Charleston Bluegrass Festival was held in West Ashley on a stunning piece of Lowcountry called the Charleston Woodlands. Located just across Ashley River Road from Middleton Place, the property consists of 6,000 acres, featuring 11 fresh water lakes, black water swamp, and a true Lowcountry woodland. It was a perfect setting for a camping bluegrass festival. But last year, the festival moved back to its original East Cooper location at the Seewee Outpost in Awendaw. But this month, the 2019 Charleston Bluegrass Festival is making its way back West of the Ashley March 29-30, returning to the Charleston Woodlands as part of the official grand opening of the event space.
“We really love the space and needed a camping-friendly spot to pull off a proper Bluegrass Festival. Charleston Woodlands is focusing on events and this event will kick things off in grand fashion,” says festival founder and organizer Eddie White. “The venue is an amazing eco paradise with a wide range of hiking, paddle sport, biking and fishing activities. The Woodlands has year-round public camping and folks will be surprised that this is right in their back yard.”
The festival will feature three stages of national and regional bluegrass, outdoor recreation, and a diverse selection of local food and beverage options. “Of course, the music will shine, and change a few lives that weekend,” says White. “The line up for 2019 features a few new up and coming bands, a few Bluegrass heroes, and some of our all time favorites. Twenty-seven total groups including 16 local bluegrass and almost-Bluegrass pickers,” says White.
On Friday, everything gets kicked off at noon with a stellar lineup consisting of Chatam County Line, Ol’55s, Red Cedar Review, The Lowhills, Fox Pond Bakery, Forty Mile Detour, West King Stringband, Rachel Baiman, Natty Grass, Judson Mckinney Orchestra, Admiral Radio, and Carolina Drive Bluegrass. On Saturday, things get started at 10 a.m. with live music from Town Mountain, Circus No. 9, Sam Burchfield, Robert Mabe, Escaping Pavement, Dallas Baker & Friends, Jon Stickley Trio, The Dirty Grass Players, Pierce Edens, Sally & George, The Pluff Mud String Band, The Hungry Monks, and River Boy.
In addition to the music, there will also be kayaks available to rent and fishing is permitted with a one-day license. Camping is available for those wanting to make a weekend out of it. General admission for adults are $15 for Friday ($20 day of), $20 ($25 day of) for Saturday, and $30 for both days ($45 day of). Children tickets are $5 for Friday ($10 day of), $10 for Saturday ($15 day of), and $20 for both days ($25 day of). Kids under 5 get in free. Camping spots can be reserved for $75 ($95 day of) and include one general admission ticket for both days. RV camping is also available for an additional fee.
“I think what most folks will immediately notice is how well run, laid-back and family friendly the event is,” says White. “Charleston needs a proper festival and we think this is it. Expect to be amazed.”
The Charleston Bluegrass Festival will be held Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at Charleston Woodlands, located at 4279 Ashley River Road. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.charlestonwoodlands.com