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Every truly great thing starts somewhere. For festivals like the California Music and Arts Festival, it didn’t just happen; it began with a thought, with an inspiration. And through persistence, passion, and lots of insanely hard work, it became the beautiful weekend we now look forward to every year.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of Cali Roots when my friend Zach from Sun-Dried Vibes told me he was putting on a festival in South Carolina, called Surrounded By The Sound. It wasn’t just the bands he mentioned that impressed me (Passafire, The Movement, Ballyhoo!, Roots of Creation, Through The Roots, Treehouse, Sun-Dried Vibes, and many, many, more), it was how he described it.
Backstage at their San Diego show, while Zach talked about the peaceful, zen-like tranquility and nature surrounding the Chattooga River campground where the festival is held, I couldn’t help but picture myself there enjoying it all. A gorgeous weekend of camping and phenomenal live music is it for me – there’s almost nothing better in the world.
The conversation reminded me of the first time I went to Cali Roots – as I was setting up my tent, I remember hearing some music coming from the campsite next to me, and there was Fortunate Youth, enjoying the cool Monterey evening and playing some acoustic songs. It was perfect. One of the reasons it was so special at that point was it wasn’t huge – not that many people knew about it. There was a unique intimacy surrounding it.
That’s the feeling I got while Zach described Surrounded By The Sound to me. Call it good vibes, call it intuition, call it whatever – all I know is, I couldn’t stop thinking about it after we chatted. When a perfect reggae festival takes place at one of the most beautiful campgrounds in South Carolina, you know it’s going to be good.
I couldn’t have been happier to show Zach and the crew some Hill Kid love, and I really hope you strongly consider going. There are tons of new reggae and music festivals popping up all over the country (this is amazing, and EXTREMELY exciting to me), and after having been to my fair share, it’s safe to say that the main differentiator is always how well the people putting the festival on treat their audience.
If you’ve ever met Zach and the rest of the Sun-Dried crew, you know you’re in good hands. With everything from the crystal-clear river, to the disc golf tournament, to the awesome bands, I couldn’t be more excited for the vibes this festival is putting out there.
As with all beautiful things, the humble beginnings of this festival could make their way all around the world in the coming years. Take my word for it – it’s truly a special and intimate experience when you’re there before everyone knows about it, and get to watch it grow from the inside out.
Much love Surrounded By The Sound, sending positive vibes from San Diego your way!