Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

JerryFest comes to Five Points in October

JerryFest, a free outdoor concert annually held on the first Sunday in October, returns October 1 and will feature more music and regional acts on two stages this year. JerryFest runs from 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m. with an official after party at Publico from 7:30–10 p.m. Multiple bands will be performing Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead music, along with the addition this year of some other jam-band favorites.

JerryFest was started to commemorate the life and art of Jerry Garcia. Rock guitarist and musical icon, Garcia was best known as the lead guitarist for the Grateful Dead that inspired legions of followers known as “Deadheads.” The last time the Grateful Dead performed in Columbia was on Halloween 1985 at the Carolina Coliseum. Every year, JerryFest aims to recreate that atmosphere in Five Points.

Housed in various bars and clubs, JerryFest was started by Five Points’ local mom and pop hippie shop—Loose Lucy’s—over 20 years ago to commemorate the life and art of Jerry Garcia. In 2014, the owners of Loose Lucy’s—Don and Jenn McCallister—brought the festival to the Five Points Association because they had not found a venue that just felt “right” and decided Five Points was the best place to call the festival’s permanent home. Amassing over 500 attendees in that first year, it has remained one of Five Points’ signature events for the past nine years and has grown steadily.

The festival footprint expanded from the fountain plaza and Saluda Avenue in 2018 with the addition of the 2000 Block of Greene Street, to accommodate the 1,200+ attendees to the Five Points village. In 2022, the festival swelled with 2,000+ festival goers. In 2023, the festival is expanding once again to include the Five Points mural lot with a second stage, a “Lil’ Hippie Corner,” and more fun for the entire family to enjoy.

JerryFest in Five Points will feature five bands across two stages:

Mural Lot Bands

• The Reckoning– Dead since 2010, out of Charleston S.C., The Reckoning offers a fresh new approach to the seemingly infinite library of songs and soundscapes that can only be defined as “Grateful Dead.” Celebrating the band’s entire catalogue as it developed and danced through the decades, The Reckoning leaves no leaf unturned, and the music never stops!

• Runaway Gin—A Tribute to Phish: Runaway Gin is the world’s most notable Phish tribute project. The group has been voted the Best Phish Tribute in the World two years in a row and 2022 Charleston Jam Band of the Year.

• Machine Funk—”Tribute to Widespread Panic” was formed in the summer of 2006 in Florence, S.C.: The band tours the southeast covering the music of Widespread Panic. Night after night the group’s set lists are never the same, with over 150 songs in rotation you will not see the same show twice.

• Stillhouse—Formed in 2004, Stillhouse–Grateful Dead Tribute, has grown into one of Columbia’s longest-established bands on the local music scene. Drawing from multiple influences, this six-piece ensemble is perhaps best known for its powerful harmonies, improvisational skills, and onstage chemistry.

CJ’s Stage Band (throughout the day)

• Ten Mile Ride—Grateful Dead Tribute

• Columbia Community Drum Circle—An open forum for creating rhythm and movement in Columbia. All are welcome.

Official After Party @ Publico

• Alien Carnival • Gentle Jack “We’re very excited for this year’s festival expansion,” says Heather McDonald, executive director of the Five Points Association. “Attendees will not only get to enjoy Grateful Dead music they are accustomed to listening to that day, but also the musical catalogs of other bands who embrace the jam-band culture. This is going to be a musical fun-filled day for all to enjoy down in the Five Points district.”

In addition to the two stages of music:

•Free Family Yoga Morning sponsored by Fit Columbia, 9 a.m. at Publico (Back Patio)—Start the morning off right with a family-friendly inspired yoga session before enjoying the festival. Pre-registration not required.

•Lil’ Hippy Corner sponsored by Break Point Cola, a kids’ friendly zone featuring face painting, tiedye making station, inflatables, and more.

•Food trucks

•Artisan Craft Vendors

Admission is free to the festival. JerryFest has a “No Pet Policy” (except for service animals). This year’s festival is presented by the Five Points Association and Loose Lucy’s.

For more information on JerryFest, please follow the festival on Facebook @FivePointsJerryFest and Instagram @fivepointsjerryfest.

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