Wow, wow, wow! That is all I can say after an incredible day at the St Pat's in Five Points Festival in Columbia, SC. One day, four stages, and 20 different bands all played on one day for the thousands of people assembled on Harden St. in Five Points District in Columbia, SC.
Bands started taking one of the four stages at noon. From then on, a new band took one of the stages every hour to give the crowd a glimpse of their music. In addition to music, food trucks, and food stands lined the streets with people being able to eat fried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and turkey legs while listening to their favorite bands. Towards the end of the night, the streets were so tightly packed with people, you could barely move. This usually would be a negative thing, but to see so many people come out to support a festival that was celebrating its 41st birthday was incredible. The St Pat's Festival felt like a neighborhood block party while having the names and attendees of a major festival. This made the entire event seem intimate yet unbelievable that it was in our own backyards.
For the festival, I tended to stay towards the Blossom Stage, which had Sam Burchfield, Flipturn, The Brook & The Bluff, and Hippo Campus play throughout the day. Sam Burchfield opened the stage with incredible vocals and a driving guitar. Sam is from South Carolina, so the crowd seemed to appreciate a “local artist” making it on the big stage. Next up was Flipturn. Flipturn is a band I have wanted to see live since I was introduced to them two years ago. With amazing musicianship, Flipturn turned Blossom St. into the hottest place in SC. Every person was singing along to each of their songs and participating with the band. The entire band had a smile during their entire set. After Flipturn, The Brook & The Bluff took the stage. This was the band’s first engagement of the year, and they came ready! The Brook & The Bluff led the crowd in energy while the lead singer danced around and turned the festival into a dance party! The Brook & The Bluff’s discography is extremely diversified in that every song by them seems to stretch into a new genre. Their live sound followed suit. After them, Hippo Campus took the stage to end the night. Hippo Campus flew to the festival only an hour prior, but even with little sleep and warm-up, Hippo Campus set the stage ablaze. The street had so many people that some were climbing and sitting in trees just to be able to see/listen!
Overall, this festival was absolutely incredible and also incredibly affordable for the level of bands that were brought in! If you live in the Carolinas, make it a point to come to next year’s 42nd St Pat's at Five Points Festival in Columbia, SC. It won’t disappoint!
All photos are by Jared Wright