ShineFest 2009 — an all-day, all-ages event set for Sat. Oct. 17 at the Joseph P. Riley Stadium — boasts an impressive lineup of cool bands for sure, but there's an underlying mission of hope and guidance at hand, too. ShineFest hopes to raise money for the Charleston County School District and a very special Citadel scholarship while providing fun entertainment in a safe, family-friendly setting.
Veteran jam band Blues Traveler, long-running reggae group The Original Wailers, and a prog/jam collaboration between drummer Jeff Sipe and sax player Jeff Coffin are among the headlining acts.
"I think there is something for everyone, young and old," says event producer Christi Page, a manager at local salon and spa Stella Nova. "We have some great local bands and special visiting acts on both stages."
Page's personal story lies at the heart of the festival. She began putting ShineFest into action after working on several other special fundraising events inspired by her late husband Trip Page, who lost his life in a car accident in 2007. Trip was pursuing a master's of business administration degree from the Citadel's Graduate College at the time.
Last year, after forming the Trip Page Education Initiative, she collaborated with the Citadel and co-organized a Captain's Choice Golf Tournament at Wescott Plantation. The military college's R.A. "Trip" Page, III, Scholarship Endowment Fund currently provides an education every year to "a deserving cadet" majoring in Civil Engineering.
Page describes the Scholarship Endowment Fund as a program "committed to growing responsible, aware, and giving individuals with the love, integrity, and joy Trip inspires." With ShineFest, she admits a little extra inspiration from her college days when rock radio station 96 Wave hosted the all-day, multiple act WaveFest in downtown Charleston. While she's not a professional event promoter or music biz insider, she shared ideas with a staff of go-getters — Jared Surasky, Samantha Bruce, Meredith Siemens, Katherine Stehling, Sally Stephenson — to get things rolling.
Half of the proceeds from the event will be earmarked for the Citadel scholarship fund. Forty percent will benefit the Charleston County School District for use in the Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBS) program. Established by the Office of Special Education Programs in the U.S. Department of Education, PBS is a broad range of "systemic and individualized strategies" for achieving important social and learning outcomes, while preventing problem behavior.
Ten percent of the proceeds will go to Charleston Book Buddies, a literacy program for underprivileged schools within the Charleston County School District (individuals donating books and supplies at the gate will be given a free festival T-shirt).
"I've been blessed with the individuals who have helped me along this journey of losing my husband, and I can only hope that festival-goers will realize the positive impact they are making on the spectrum of Charleston's education," says Page.
Shinefest 2009 is officially sponsored by TurnKey Creative, Copy Cat, Stella Nova, All That's Good Italian Ice, Torch Velvet Lounge, Creative Spark, and City Paper. While everyone is on board with the important financial and community goals, they're stoked about the live acts as well.
Blues Traveler headlines the main stage at 7:15 p.m. with a set of old fan faves like "Run-Around" and "Hook," along with tunes from their latest studio album North Hollywood Shootout. The lyrics of the opening track "Forever Owed" were inspired by the lead singer and harmonica-slinger John Popper's recent USO trip to Afghanistan and Iraq. The album's closing track, "Free Willis, Ruminations from Behind Uncle Bob's Machine Shop" is six-minute spoken-word jam featuring actor Bruce Willis doing a monologue/rant. Popper leads the way this Saturday with backing from guitarist Chandler Kinchla, keyboardist Ben Wilson, drummer Brendan Hill, and bassist Tad Kinchla (who came in after the passing of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999).
Spawned from the Jamaican musical collective led by the late Bob Marley, reggae act The Original Wailers features Al Anderson and Julian "Junior" Marvin — two soulful guitarists who worked extensively with Marley in the late-1970s and continued with various versions of the band through the decades.
Assembling from various corners of Georgia and the Carolinas, the Sipe-Coffin Group is a rare collaboration between musical friends. Led by skillful rock/jazz drummer Jeff Sipe (of Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jimmy Herring Band, Phil & Friends, and many other collaborations) and award-winning saxophonist/composer Jeff Coffin (of Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band), the lineup includes guitarist Mike Seal (of the Jeff Sipe Trio), bassist Felix Pastorius (son of late jazz/fusion bassist Jaco Patorius), and flautist/keyboardist Kofu Burbridge (of the Derek Trucks Band, Yonrico Scott Band).
ShineFest Event Promoter Samantha Bruce took the helm at booking the impressively diverse roster of local ensembles on the bill. Veteran Lowcountry roots at The Blue Dogs, groove-rock ensemble Sol Driven Train, heavy alt-rock band Number One Contender, roots-rock trio Dangermuffin, blues/rock quintet Gaslight Street, and indie-pop act The Whisperjets (winners of the recent Last Band Standing contest) fill the bill.
The early-afternoon festivities also include a Children's Universe (from noon to 5 p.m.), hosted by Creative Spark Center for the Arts (a family-oriented community art program based in Mt. Pleasant) and members of Sol Driven Train, who will provide original children's music on the main stage at 12:25 p.m. A "community village" of local nonprofit and community organizations and other activities for families will be on hand, too.
"This is designed to be fun for all ages, while supporting education and promoting the awareness of all that's good," says Page. "It's a music festival not for the financial gain of only a few, but for the positive inner growth and happiness of all."
12:25 p.m — Sol Driven Train (kids' show)
1:30 p.m. — The Sipe-Coffin Group
3:15 p.m — The Blue Dogs
5:00 p.m. — The Original Wailers
7:15 p.m. — Blues Traveler
12:50 p.m. — Dangermuffin
2:35 p.m. — Gaslight Street
4:20 p.m. — Number One Contender (with members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra)
6:05 p.m. — Sol Driven Train