The fourth annual First Flush Festival — scheduled for Sun. May 16 — celebrates of the commencement of the 2010 harvest at the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island for its popular product line, American Classic Tea. Presented by the Plantation and The Bridge at 105.5, the event at the 120-acre tea farm includes live music, games for children, dance troupes, comedy events, and free iced tea.
The festival name refers to the growth of new leaves on the tea plants in the spring time after a winter of rest. Their "first flush" of new growth is harvested to produce a fine cup of tea.
The First Flush Festival Concert will feature Morristown, N.J.-based blues/gospel/funk combo Robert Randolph & The Family Band, songwriter Corey Chisel, local roots-rock group Crowfield, and other special guests. Headliner Robert Randolph ascended into popularity on the jam band scene for his fiery style on the pedal steel — an uptempo, hot-lick style referred to as "sacred steel." He and his band are on the road this season behind a new album titled Colorblind, featuring the hit single "Get There." Led by singer/guitarist Tyler Mechem and pianist Joe Giant, Crowfield recently celebrated the release of a 10-song collection titled Goodbye, Goodnight, So Long Midwestern.
Chucktown Music Group — a music company founded by Mark Bryan (of Hootie & The Blowfish) — will be run a side stage between acts with a variety of local acts, including Amber Caparas, John Wesley Satterfield, and Mac Leaphart, plus a gospel performance from the New Bethlehem Baptist Church and the Edith L. Frierson Steppers.
Advance tickets are available for special low prices online at etix.com and at Monster Movies & Music. Individual tickets will run for $10 through March 31, $15 between April 1-18, and $20 from April 19-May 9. Tickets will also be available for $25 on the day of the event at the Plantation entrance. Call 843-559-0383 or check out charlestonteaplantation.com and 1055thebridge.com for more.