If you have looked to the right at any time in the last few weeks, you have seen an ad for the Albino Skunk Music Festival.  Since I do not believe in ads for anything I do not believe in, I can assure you of this: The Albino Skunk Music Festival is something you need to check out. 

Music festivals are a beautiful thing. A good festival features a diverse musical selection, a laid back vacation-like atmosphere and a sense of community with total strangers you will rarely find anywhere else.  On the big stage Woodstock, Lollapalooza, and Bonaroo have made great headlines for music festivals over the years but are a little overblown for my tastes. I prefer to ignore pop culture and appreciate a music festival for what is should be: homegrown attractions centered around a true love for good music and the camaraderie amongst the people that appreciate it. 

This is what makes the Albino Skunk Music Festival great.

The most spectacular thing about The Festival is the venue itself. The promoter, Glynn Zeigler, is not just putting on a show. He is literally inviting you to he and his wife Susan’s home to enjoy the weekend with you personally. 

Glynn Zeigler is a general contractor by trade and a music lover at heart. I have worked with him professionally, attended his shows as a fan, and shared beers as a friend. To know him is to love him and in turn, the Skunk Fest is his opportunity to share his love with you. Guests are likely to meet him at the “door” and are guaranteed to see him on stage bellowing “FES-TAAA-VUL!” from the deepest parts of his soul.

Around his home, Zeigler has created a beautiful listening environment. The outskirts of Greer are pleasantly peaceful in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Skunk Farm capitalizes on this setting.   The festival is set in the backyard of Zeigler’s farm house on a piece of property where listening pleasure blossoms more than any crop.  Local artists and cooks share their wares on one border, campers claim ground to another, and children rule and conquer the playground fortress in the woods. Naturally the stage is at the center of it all and you are never too far away to hear the music emanating from in. Regardless of age or interest, the Festival offers an escape for us all. 

The Skunk Fest began seventeen years ago as a gathering of friends and musicians on a farm that had albino skunks residing on the property.  It was originally a private affair that eventually opened its arms to the music loving public.  It has since grown into one of the region’s premier music attractions right here in Greer, South Carolina. It attracts music lovers of all ages who gather to see local, regional, and national acts to a farm right here in our backyard. 

Since this is a story about a music festival, there should probably be some mention of the music.

The Albino Skunk Festival is no stranger to big names and up-and-coming stars. The 2004 show saw The Avett Brothers perform on the Skunk Stage just a few short years before they won their first American Music Award. Steve Martin’s partners in crime, The Steep Canyon Rangers have been regular attractions at the festival. For the second year in a row, The Gourds are the Saturday night headliners and if they are not a part of your musical collection, they should be.  They are an amazing bluegrass jam band that mixes a fantastic set of original music with the greatest rap cover track of all time.  Defying all sense of logic and reason, they transform Snoop Dogg’s Gin & Juice into artistic brilliance and should not be missed at any opportunity. <Here's a link to a taste on Youbtube. Snoop wrote the song, so think on that before you play it out loud at work.>

Names aside, the Albino Skunk Music Festival features tremendous talent regardless of their public stature.  At past Skunk Fests the 4 pm performer has provided more entertainment and a higher quality of music than any high-priced stadium show could ever dream of. There may not be laser shows and elaborate stage props to mask the artist’s disinterest but instead the stage is populated by performers who actually put a passion for their music and love for their audience into their set.  At the Albino Skunk Music Festival, music comes first.
This year’s lineup includes almost twenty bands over three days. Bands include The Honey Cutters, The Steel Drivers, Sol Driven Train, and of course, The Gourds.  Forget the name dropping though; at past Skunk Fest’s my favorite acts have been the ones that I had never heard of until they took the stage.  I could  go on and on about which bands to look forward to but there comes a point where the beauty of the Festival is in experiencing some things for yourself.

Skunk Festivities begin Thursday October 6 and continue into the wee hours of Saturday night. Great music, a traveling circus for the kids, food from Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe and Mike & Jeff’s BBQ, beers from The Community Tap, and even a farmer’s market from Edible Upcountry will all be in attendance. For you, a chair in a bag, dancing shoes, and an appetite for honest, soulful music are all you need to bring to enjoy an amazing weekend right here in your backyard.*

We hope to see you there.

*Ok, well, if you intend to camp, you might want to bring a tent and a sleeping bag. Zeigler is a pretty hospitable guy but I doubt you will be able to crash on his couch at the farm house.