Aiken Music Fest returns for the 2022 season

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June 5 – Instead of horses, polo players or crops, an Aiken County field packed with spectators on Saturday night as the Aiken Music Fest returned for its third season to Highfields.

Amy Moore organizes the food and also serves as bartender for the concert series. She said the concert series usually draws between 200 and 300 people.

“We always hope for more,” Moore said. “But with COVID, it’s been uncertain.”

The concerts take place in a six acre field in Highfields giving spectators plenty of room to spread out. The size of the space also provides plenty of opportunities to tailgate or play backyard games.

A reporter from Aiken Standard watched two boys play with several frisbees. Cornhole games and soccer balls are also available.

She added that events typically feature two food trucks and a desert vendor. Moore said everything at the cash bar is $5.

The festival also allows people to bring their own tailgating gear, including food and chairs.

Aiken’s Ed and Vida Hines were two of those in attendance at Saturday’s concert.

“We love the setting here,” Vida said. “It’s just beautiful. The music is usually always good. The weather is beautiful.”

Ed added that they lived five minutes away which made it easy to attend the concerts.

Greg, Renee and Jordan Kauffman also attended the concert.

“We were here last year,” Greg said. “We had such a great time. It seems like such a hidden gem for people to recognize and enjoy.”

He added that he appreciated the opportunity to bring a cooler full of food and drink to the tailgate.

Each concert features a local artist performing before a more well-known group takes the stage.

North Augusta musician Jay Teague kicked off the 2022 Aiken Music Fest season with a Johnny Cash song shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday.

Jocelyn and Chris, a blues-rock band from upstate New York, headlined Saturday night. They were supposed to go on stage around 8 p.m.

The band is named after the siblings who serve as lead vocalist and piano (Jocelyn) and lead and rhythm guitar (Chris). The siblings graduated from Harvard University and have performed across the country, including a 2019 performance on the “Today” show.

Upcoming Aiken Music Fest events are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 2, August 13, and September 10.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or through links on the Aiken Music Fest website.

The July 2 event will feature the Blue Dogs and Augusta musician Gabriel Flores. The August 13 event will feature Wylder and Aiken’s Red Fox Wood. The September 2 event will feature Lord Nelson and local artist Jonah Boucher.

For more information, visit aikenmusicfest.com or call 803-649-3505.

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