For the next several weeks, not one person in the Augusta area should be allowed to complain, “There is nothing to do in this town.”
Visitors to the downtown area and beyond will not be able to walk more than a few blocks without running into some amazing shows, enthusiastic artists or incredible food during this fall season.
The following are three festivals that all local residents should watch for this season:
After more than 35 years of providing the downtown area with an incredible two-and-a-half-day festival that includes beautiful arts and crafts, delicious food and amazing live entertainment, the Greater Augusta Arts Council is once again kicking it up a notch.
This year’s festival is celebrating the “Year of Georgia Music” with five stages of non-stop musical performances that include jazz, rock, hip-hop, R&B, Americana, spoken word, cultural dance and much more.
The festival, which runs Sept. 16-18, will feature the Mike Frost Band on Friday night, John Krueger and Jerome Dolly on Saturday and the Riff Raff Kings and J.J. Harriston on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Fine Arts and Crafts Market will include more than 130 artists from all over the country selling everything from pottery to photography to handcrafted jewelry.
And, of course, who can forget the incredible food offered at Arts in the Heart. This year’s Global Village will have a variety of dishes from more than 20 counties including Laos, Jamaica, Ireland, Greece, Italy, India, Guam and Trinidad.
Admission badges are $10 at the gate, while children 10 and under are free. Or people can purchase their badges early for only $5 at artsintheheart.com as well as at all Suntrust Bank locations in Augusta, Vintage Ooollee at 1121 Broad Street or New Moon Cafe in Aiken, S.C.
Celebrating its ninth year, Westobou has become known as Augusta’s “ever-evolving multi-arts festival” dedicated to building this region’s cultural community, while also helping to strengthen the local economy.
“Westobou has changed quite a bit over the years,” said Executive Director Kristi Jilson. “We went from something like 200 events over 10 or 15 days to taking a step back and asking, ‘How do we make this work for our community? What is a new platform that we can use for this festival?’”
As a result of those discussions, Westobou transformed into a more customer-friendly, five-day festival running from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 that focuses on the five different genres of music, dance, film, spoken word and visual arts.
This year’s festival will feature artists such as, Jowita Wyszomirska, who creates artwork that asks the audience to “observe the moments happening in the periphery of our perceived experience,” according to the festival’s website, westoboufestival.com.
“A cloud casting a shadow as it crosses the sun, the ever-changing shoreline where land and water meet, the sensory experience of the wind, the warmth of a shimmering light touching the skin,” the website states. “Be it a site-specific installation or captivating work on paper, Polish-born Wyszomirska’s subdued palette, organic aesthetic and dynamic sense of movement produces work that is both familiar and fresh.”
Curated by Susan Laney of Laney Contemporary in Savannah, “Unseen Patterns” is a large-scale, site-specific installation stretching throughout the Westobou Gallery.
Wyszomirska’s work, which is based on aerial maps of the Savannah River and satellite imagery of weather patterns of the Chesapeake Bay, reflects the effects of climate change: freak winter storms, extreme weather changes and highly fluctuating temperatures.
With the use of software, Wyszomirska turns visual data into patterns which she then cuts into a wide array of shapes. From there, she paints the layers of information embedded within the shapes and contours them to create fluid, open compositions in which suspended felt and Mylar seem to defy gravity, according to westoboufestival.com.
“Collecting empirical data and translating it into subjective compositions reveals parallels and recurring patterns,” Wyszomirska stated. “Repetitive engagement with these compositions—marking, connecting, stringing, cutting, folding, erasing, layering—creates a work that operates in the liminal, that ever-changing, seemingly chaotic character of natural borders.”
For more information about all the artists, musicians and speakers that will be featured during Westobou, please visit westoboufestival.com.
Marking its 32nd celebration this year, the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee is no longer a sleepy, little main-street festival in North Augusta along Georgia Avenue.
The Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee has become a must-see festival featuring live entertainment on two stages, amazing food, incredible arts and crafts, a car show, a corn hole tournament, amusement rides and plenty of activities for the kids including a costume contest, face painting, clowns, kiddie rides and inflatables.
But the big news this year is the jaw-dropping musicians that will provide free concerts — yes, free concerts — to festival goers on Friday and Saturday nights.
This year, the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee we will feature a free Saturday night concert by the popular 1990s band the Gin Blossoms that dominated the airwaves over the years with hits such as “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Round” and “Found Out About You.”
Also performing at the free show on Saturday will be the rock group Tonic, which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Airplay Hot 100 chart with their 1997 single, “If You Could Only See.”
For those attending the festival on Friday night, the main act will be the Nashville-based band Moon Taxi.
The Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee is an annual, family-oriented festival in downtown North Augusta that is growing bigger and better each year.
For more information, visit jackolanternjubilee.com.