Did you ever wish you could be three places at once? This has been a growing problem for me as there just seems like there is too much to do and just not enough, well, me. In a city with Greenville’s entertainment scene we often have to choose between Option A and Option B (and usually do so with relative ease) but this weekend presents some unusually frustrating options.

Option A – The 2013 Spring Skunk Music Fest, Friday & Saturday, April 12 & 13

I have been going to Skunk Fests on and off for at least six years now and I do not think Chris and I have missed a single one since we got married.  Loyalty and tradition aside, Glynn Zeigler has once again assembled a can’t-miss lineup of artists at the increasingly-famous Skunk Farm.  Skunk Fest continues to evolve from a traditional bluegrass festival into an eclectic mix of bluegrass, folk, jazz and jam bands and every single festival just keeps getting better and better.

This year features veteran Skunk alumni Sol Driven Train and our awesome friend and neighbor Darby Wilcox.  This year Darby kicks things off on Friday with her full band, the Peep Show, and is sure to set an unforgettable tone for the weekend. Not to be one to look forward to the end of things, I am ecstatic about seeing Col. Bruce Hampton on stage Saturday night.  Every band in between is just as enticing as we cannot wait to hear what Lake Street Dive, Hooray for the Riff Raff, and all the rest have to offer.

As usual, music is the main attraction but Zeigler never ignores the details that make a festival a festival.  Community Tap will be slinging delicious craft beer, Asada will serve up Greenville’s best tacos and quesadillas and plenty of local vendors and artists will be in attendance making sure everybody in attendance is buzzed, fat and happy. Ah, Skunk Fest…

Option B – The Community Tap’s Craft Beer Festival, Saturday, April 13

Wait, isn’t The CommunityTap going to be serving beer at Skunk Fest? Well, yes, but apparently they have actually figured out the mystery of being in multiple locations at one time.  Unfortunately they seem to be keeping the secret to themselves at the moment.

At any rate, The Community Tap is introducing their first Craft Beer Festival featuring the best small batch and season brews their 36 favorite breweries have to offer.  All of our personal favorite breweries will be in attendance: Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, Founders, Westbrook… and so many more. Adding to the fun, Quest Brewing Company will also be offering tastes of great things to come as they grow ever closer to the grand opening of what is soon to become Greenville's best brewery <much more on them in the near future>.

Oh, and here is another case of someone figuring out how to be in two places at one time: Darby Wilcox will follow up her Friday Skunk Fest performance by providing entertainment at the Craft Beer Fest. Somehow rock stars have all the fun…

This would be the appropriate time and place to tell you that TCT’s Craft Beer Festival will be held at Larkin’s Sawmill and that the event runs from 12-4 but if you do not already have your tickets then it really does not matter. Sorry, but The Craft Beer Fest has been sold out for weeks. 

Fear not, fellow beer lovers because if you cannot drink great beer from The Community Tap at their Craft Beer Festival or at Skunk Fest, then Barley’s Taproom has you covered. The “After Party” for the Craft Beer Fest will be held at Barley’s. Brewers and beer fans alike will continue their consumption of the world’s best beverages at the best beer bar in Greenville starting at 6:30. 

How could you miss this? Unless, you are at Skunk Fest or maybe at...

Option C – Iron Horse @ The Handlebar

I have to be honest but this was not even on my radar two weeks ago.

A couple of weeks ago I was home alone on a Saturday afternoon when I had a hankerin’ for some Modest Mouse. Too lazy to shuffle through CD’s, I went to iTunes and did a search for one of my favorite bands. I could not help but notice that the results offered a few hundred Modest Mouse songs and ten songs by a band called Iron Horse.

In the words of my almost-eight-year-old: “What the hey-diddle-do?”

I do not know how, when, or why Iron Horse landed in our iTunes collection but I am glad they did. Chris said she downloaded the album months ago because she is cool and sneaky like that. Anyway, the album I clumsily landed on is called “Pickin’ On Modest Mouse – A Bluegrass Tribute” and I immediately fell in love. I played the album once in its entirety and then spent the next hour or two of my life listening to Iron Horse and Modest Mouse’s version of the same songs back to back. I admit, I am a bit of a nerd.

It was not until much later that evening when I learned that Iron Horse has a collection of bluegrass tribute albums for lots of folks, including Ozzy Osbourne and Led Zeppelin. I am a bit embarrassed that I was not just out of the loop but that it was our friend’s 21 year old son that had to get me up to date on Iron Horse’s “Pickin’ On” series later that weekend.

Anyway, it seems serendipitous that just a couple of weeks after this discovery that Iron Horse is playing just a few blocks from our house at The Handlebar. The show is only $15 and proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Good tunes for a good cause? How could I say no? On a normal weekend, I wouldn’t.

The Verdict

I am not just a keeper of traditions but for a weekend of fun we just cannot miss Skunk Fest.  There will be at least 15 bands to enjoy over two days and it is impossible for us to say no to a weekend in the woods with great music and friends.  It not only offers the most bang for the buck but it is also the most family friendly event out of all our options.  Telling Ivan he could not go to Skunk Fest would be like telling him that we would be skipping Christmas this year. The kids enjoy the Skunk Farm as much as us grown folks and we are all three counting the minutes before we can check out of the real world and relax in the woods. 

I have to say, however, that this is an absolutely amazing weekend to be out celebrating all the great things the Upstate has to offer. Whichever event you find yourselves at you will surely find a great time. Whether you find your fun experiencing an amazing music festival on a farm in Greer, tasting great beer hosted by the fantastic people from The Community Tap, or just catching a cool band at the best little music venue in the Upstate, you absolutely cannot lose. 

Wherever you end up have fun and be safe. And if you find a way to be more than one place at once and you run into me at Skunk Fest, be nice and try not to tell me what I am missing. We will catch it all for ourselves next time around…
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