Written by Charles “Bones” Frank
I have always enjoyed watching ideas grow into fruition. Getting a festival off of paper and onto the ground is no easy task, so when new ones pop up my curiosity is always heightened. The good people down in Conway, South Carolina are building something cool, and in only its’ third year, this installment of the Waccamaw Getaway Music Festival taking place Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, looks promising.
Conway is a small place that rests just a handful of miles outside Myrtle Beach, a market that has continued to prove fruitful for bands of all genres and sizes. I was lucky enough to attend last year’s Waccamaw festival and it is a grassroots family with tons of potential. The people are close knit, motivated, and friendly. Before touching on the stellar lineup that they have curated for round three, let me first paint a picture I hope intrigues you. The festival property is on a regularly operating marina, the Bucksport Marina to be exact. Surrounding the marina is of course an absolutely beautiful river, the Waccamaw River to be exact. The setting is simply awesome. One can feel the peacefulness as soon as one arrives on the site. Attendees are welcome to camp right up on the banks of the river, and it is just a short walk to the venue from any campsite on festival grounds. The venue itself is immediately adjacent to an inner curve of the river, boats honk and wave throughout the day as the approach and disembark from the marina. Additionally, the stage area is completely covered, removing virtually any possibility of music delays due to weather. A full service bar and restaurant is off the backside of the venue area, all of which is connected to a boardwalk out in the river that becomes a popular spot to congregate. This is a very cool setting to see music. Did someone say music? Speaking of music, let’s examine this killer lineup a little.
Waccamaw Getaway is packing a punch of Jamwich favorites my friends. The top couple lines stand alone as a great base, and the undercards supplement this lineup wonderfully. Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, The Mantras, Nick & The Nomads, and Dangermuffin comprise the top nightly slots. Sister Sparrow brings soul splitting vocals and licks to the party, The Mantras are on tap to deliver their patented pattern of hypnotic rhythm, Nick & The Nomads finds Nick MacDaniels (Big Something) fronting a new project that dives headfirst into the world of deep cut covers and off the wall song selections that smacks listeners like they don’t know what hit them. MacDaniels debuted the project at last fall’s Heap Festival in North Carolina and in less than a year the group has matured into a unique cosmic hip hop-esque groove squadron. Dangermuffin brings their resonating folky jam flow to Waccamaw to tickle the soul of the crowd by the banks of the deep end. Other favorites on the lineup that Carolinians may recognize are of course the professors of pork, Dr. Bacon, Groove Fetish and Urban soil both return to Waccamaw as alumni, as do some bands beginning to pop up on larger radars, The Wright Avenue, The Freeway Jubilee, Maj Deeka, and the Cosmic Superheroes. A few more purveyors of pulse pepper the rest of the lineup, including one of the official artists at-large Jackson Weldon, Dr. Bacon’s brilliant sultan of the slide, sure to add excitement to any set in which he appears.
The Bucksport Marina is sure to bubble with bountiful reserves of musical moments at The Waccamaw Getaway Festival, and I beseech my readers in the area to discover the magic that is hiding there. Ticketing information and more, including the complete lineup, array of vendors, and of course the generous sponsors can be found at www.waccamawgetawayfest.com. As always, I hope to see you there, please feel free to find me and tell me a tale of your journey or history with any of the artists. Stay right here at The Jamwich for my review following the event, until then, remain in light.