A quick peek at the location tag “Charleston, South Carolina” on Instagram shows something straight from a Southern fairytale: stunning sunsets and pastel doors to match, cobblestone streets lined with palmetto trees, and the smiling faces of locals and visitors alike. But just 9 miles north of that graceful geotag is a city that shows a different side of the Lowcountry. With unique dining options and bustling breweries giving way to plantations of the past and river views, you will be begging to experience the north side of Charleston again and again. North Charleston is the epitome of new meets old—just take a look at the eclectic music festivals taking the stage this spring!
High Water Festival
At just 20 feet above sea level, “highwater” can be worrying word to the Charleston area…except in April, when the Highwater Festival floods Riverfront Park with tunes! The 2020 High Water Festival will be held April 18th and 19th and features acts like Wilco, Shovel & Rope, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Mavis Staples, and Drive-By Truckers.
Highwater Festival brings the energy of a traditional music festival with a fraction of the headache. For instance, instead of roughing it in a tent and packing a picnic (a la some of those other music festivals), you can catch some zzz’s at one of North Charleston’s many hotels and nosh on noms from the area’s dynamic dining scene! Get down in Riverfront Park, then enjoy all of the amenities just steps away—talk about balance!
North Charleston Arts Fest
When you think of great art cities, Charleston may be the first to come to mind, but this burgeoning art scene is one to keep an eye on, especially the North Charleston Arts Fest! For more than three decades, this festival has fed the creative spirit of residents and tourists alike, largely because there is something for literally anyone. Exhibitions include the World Arts Expo, which features performances from cultures around the world; the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition; and competitions for young artists, among many, many others.
The 2020 festival runs from April 29th through May 3rd and is a must-experience for artsy types and those who appreciate imagination in all its forms. With an array of free and inexpensive workshops, activities, and displays of creative wonder, the North Charleston Arts Fest is a local time-honored tradition that promises to inspire and entertain.
Trondossa Music & Arts Festival
What’s a festival schedule without mention of a jam band? That’s one question North Charleston is happy to not have to answer: as an original co-creation of Widespread Panic, the Trondossa Music & Arts Festival seeks to get you groovin’! The 2020 festival is May 16th and 17th at Riverfront Park and features acts like Yola, The Record Company, Billy Strings, Samantha Fish, The Nude Party, Black Pumas, and not one but TWO nights of Widespread Panic’s jamtastic vibes. Panic is known to never play the same setlist twice, so whether it’s your first time experiencing their dreamy licks and riffs or you’ve been following them for years, you’re in for an incredible feast for the senses.
Much like High Water, this rain or shine outdoor event will give you all the festival feels with the added amenities of staying in the Holy City’s hippest neighbor. Be sure to pack your Chacos and at least one tie-dyed article of clothing to get you into the good-vibes-only offered at Trondossa. Tons of feel-good music coupled with gorgeous riverfront views make “Ain’t Life Grand” a fitting theme song for this can’t-miss event.
When you visit North Charleston, South Carolina, expect the unexpected: with its own twist on of a good time, the city manages to feel familiar and new at the same time. Come experience our spring festival season—we’ll save you a spot in the pit!