There’s a couple things that immediately stand out about Columbia, SC’s excellent Jam Room Festival: Most noteworthy is the fact that it is FREE. Read that again…..FREE. Secondly, the organizers have excellent taste, and have landed a superb roster of acts for their October 3 music party.
Headlining is sublime alt pop icons Blonde Redhead, in what is currently their only scheduled performance east of the Mississippi. Also notable on the bill is country rock ensemble Hiss Golden Messenger, who treated Savannah audiences to an excellent performance during the most recent Savannah Stopover. Consistently stellar alt country/punk Cory Branan is another welcome addition to the day. 9 more regional and local acts fill out the schedule of what looks to be a really interesting day of music: Junior Astronomers, Patois Counselors, Grace Joyner, The Distributors, Colorblind, Reverend Matthew Mickens and the New Highway Travelers, Debbie and The Skanks, She Returns from War, and Stefanie Santana
I attended the 2014 edition of the Jam Room Festival and was more than pleased that I did. I found the vibe to be very relaxed and friendly, parking crazy easy (and also free), the lineup excellent (Superchunk and Southern Culture on the Skids were standouts), the crowds easy to navigate, and the organization of the fest efficient. Two blocks of South Carolina’s capital city are closed for the festivities, centered on the intersection of Hampton and Main. It’s an easy drive to Columbia, and with the bands finishing up around 10 p.m. you could easily be home well before you would on a typical weekend night in Savannah.
Did I mention it’s FREE?