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Inaugural Edisto Music Festival Rocks Holiday Crowd

With an extra-long holiday weekend for the Fourth of July to work with, two Edisto entrepreneurs founded the Edisto Music Festival, a two-day celebration of live music. The festival grounds are located on Edisto Island along Highway 174, in a prime location to welcome visitors from the steady traffic going the holiday weekend hotspot at Edisto Beach. The outdoor venue for the concerts promised that rain or shine the music would play on, and lots of summer sunshine kept the jam band crowd warm and dry.
Advance ticket sales at local businesses on Edisto were brisk leading up to the Edisto Music Festival. Radio promotion campaigns in Aiken, Bluffton, and Charleston ensured that music lovers within a short driving radius knew about the concert, dubbed a Tribute to Greg Allman, the co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band who passed away recently. Advance ticket prices were $20 per day, and two-day passes went for $35 with music festival t-shirts on sale at the venue for $15.
Edisto Beach resident Berny McGahee came up with the idea for a music festival during holiday weekends, and he teamed up with property owner Dean Hyatt to hold the event at his Mossy Oaks Farm.

“If this inaugural Edisto Music Festival is well-received then we could possibly follow it up with a repeat performance during the Labor Day holiday,” said McGahee. “Our prep work to find these bands included making trips into Charleston to watch some of their shows before working with Bubba Taylor and Fat Cat Productions to book them.”
The Saturday line-up of bands began with Edisto–based Cotton Blue Band at 4 p.m. and they kicked off right on time with a driving set that defied the afternoon heat. A company called Live Productions was hired to set up the professional stage and sound system, and the live music was well mixed and easy to hear from different locations at the venue. An Allman Brothers tribute band called All Purpose Remedy and the Louie D Project from Charleston completed the Day One line up. The Day Two line up was the same except the closing act was The Stilettos.
Food and beverage vendors were on site to serve music patrons when they needed a break from enjoying the music. Flowers seafood company and their fresh fried shrimp plates were a big hit, and other booths offered bratwurst, shaved ice, ice cream and kettle corn. Local crafts were on sale too and the non-profit group Friends of the Edisto had a booth set up to educate others about the extraordinary free-flowing black river and its ecosystem.
“Mossy Oaks Farm is a 28-acre equestrian facility and my residence,” said Dean Hyatt. “I have some experience as an event space because we have hosted many weddings here, and the Edisto Music Festival seemed like a good way to expand. I’ve always been a music guy and a fan of classic rock, and I’m comfortable with this live music format and I hope people enjoy visiting. We have 25 volunteers on site to handle ticket sales and parking, and the Charleston County Sheriff department is here too. “
“We invite folks to bring chairs and blankets, and we set the stage up in a sandy spot so that we could have the feel of being at the beach,” said Hyatt. “We don’t allow pets since we have horses here, and we don’t allow coolers since we have vendors selling cold beer and water. If anyone needs a ride back to the beach after enjoying a day in the sun listening to tunes and drinking beer, then Mossy Oaks Farm will provide rides in a Mercedes van as a service to the local community.” Visit www.EdistoIslandEvents.com for more info on the Edisto Music Festival and future events.
The grounds at Mossy Oaks Farm are complimentary to the sounds of the Edisto Music Fest. Located along Russell Creek the well-spaced pecan orchard shades horse paddocks, while old and weathered live oaks tell the story of long a maritime history. Resurrection fern and Spanish moss adorn the tree limbs that seem to connect the horse stables to the pastures where the horses are stationed. The music adds another layer of sensation for those lucky enough to be present, and here’s hoping for more live music coming soon.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (300 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com