As the weather starts to warm up and summertime gets closer, the unofficial start of festival season is on the horizon for bluegrass fans all across the United States. From longtime favorites like Gettysburg and Delaware Valley that attract thousands every year, to small-town festivals that highlight local bands, many folks will be listening to bluegrass every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This year, fans in South Carolina have a new event to check out – the Electric City Bluegrass Festival, held July 3rd and 4th in Anderson.
The festival is the brainchild of Bob and Rob McClure, the father-and-son owners of the new Electric City Bluegrass radio station, which broadcasts all-day bluegrass on WRIX 1020 AM and 104.7 FM in western South Carolina and North Carolina and eastern Georgia. The station has been broadcasting in its bluegrass format since December, and the festival will serve as a larger introduction to potential listeners. While this is the McClures’ first live bluegrass event since Electric City Bluegrass hit the airwaves, they’re hoping to make it an annual event and even branch out into other live events, including broadcasting from bluegrass concerts and offering music-related activities for the community. With very reasonably priced tickets ($10 for adults and free for children under 12) and a family-friendly atmosphere, they’re likely to succeed.
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice and The Little Roy & Lizzy Show will headline the festival, which will also feature over twenty other groups spread across two days, mostly on the traditional side of bluegrass. The festival will be held at the William A. Floyd Amphitheater, which is part of the larger Anderson Sports & Entertainment Center. The amphitheater is one of the largest in South Carolina, with terraced grass seating that can accommodate an audience of over 15,000.