First Flush Festival: May 24th – Charleston, SC

first-flush-fest-8th-annual-web-contest-622x537The first flush of tea leaves refers to “the growth of new leaves on the tea plants in the spring time after a winter of rest.” In order to commemorate this, the Charleston Tea Plantation is putting on their 8th annual First Flush FesTEAval on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina next Saturday, May 24th. In addition to local music, a number of food tents and trucks from local restaurants and vendors will be available, as well factory tours and free iced American Classic First Flush Tea. It promises to be a relaxing afternoon and evening of sun, good food, and great music.

The number of acts has doubled since last year’s festival, which featured Old Crow Medicine Show and returners The Luke Cunningham Band, Stop Light Observation and Tyler Boone. Two stages will play host to 13 local Charleston acts, one from Hilton Head, SC, and headliners The Avett Brothers. This is the smallest festival I’ve ever gone to, but it’s exciting to see one that focuses on ‘local’ in all aspects. Charleston has a fantastic music scene (if in doubt, listen to Shovels and Rope) and it’s exciting for me to see a festival that pulls from what is around them for musicians. There is no defining type to the music one can expect attending this festival. The bands range from the southern/country rock of Stop Light Observations, The Luke Cunningham Band, the Tyler Boone Band, and Matt MacKelcan, to the rock and roll of Atlas Road Crew and The Steppin Stones, to the alt-rock of Trick Knee and The Executives. Acoustic performers Haley May Campbell, Mckenna Andrews, and Samantha Kirschstein are also on the bill. The funk/reggae feel of Ben Fagan and the Holy City Hooligans, Uncle Mingo, and Mike Pinto will be sure to remind you that you are on an island and a short drive to the beach. The big draw for this year’s festival is headliner The Avett Brothers, who are sure to close out the night with a bang.

Tickets for the FesTEAval are on sale for $37.50, until the day of the show when they go up to $45. Gates open at 12pm and music starts at 1pm.