Each May, locals and visitors alike anxiously await the Beaufort Music Festival, a free two-day celebration of great music, family fun, local eats and vendors, all staged on the waterfront in Beaufort. The Beaufort Music Festival, now in its 31st year, is organized and presented by the recently formed nonprofit corporation, Beaufort Arts and Music, Inc.
Over the past year, the newly formed board has been working tirelessly to orchestrate what they hope to be the best Beaufort Music Festival to date. This year the festival will be returning to Gallants Channel in Beaufort, where the festival plans to remain for years to come. The new location is situated on over five acres of waterfront property owned by the NC Maritime Museum near the base of the new Gallants Channel high rise bridge leading into Beaufort. The new location lends to a classic festival feel and is sure to provide its attendees with a plethora of Kodak moments on the expansive waterfront backdrop.
Two of the main goals of the festival are to present a diverse music line-up and to introduce attendees to fresh musical acts. In addition, the festival strives to be a family-inclusive event and to provide an immersive experience for all ages.
This year’s musical lineup will include Hiss Golden Messenger, No BS! Brass, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Lilly Hiatt, Stop Light Observations, The Artisanals, Kamara Thomas plus many others! Beaufort Music Festival has been a jumping point for many notable past performers like The Avett Brothers, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Margo Price, Richie Havens, Southern Culture on the Skids, Banditos, The Rosebuds, Steep Canyon Rangers, Mandolin Orange, Donna the Buffalo, AJ Ghent Band and Chatham County Line to name a few.
Each year, the festival gives back to the local community with outreach activities. This year the festival has arranged for Laura Blackley, a teaching artist from Asheville, and past festival performer, to put on a week-long educational program for the students of two Beaufort based schools. This is a free educational opportunity for the students, directed at teaching North Carolina music history. This program is funded by Beaufort Arts and Music, Inc. and in part by a grant from the Hover Foundation.
The Beaufort Music Festival is funded by sponsorships from local businesses, donations, partnerships with local organizations, and beer and wine sales during the festival, all of which allow it to remain a free event.
In an effort to minimize the footprint of the festival, new this year will be the elimination of plastic cups. All patrons are invited to purchase one of the event’s branded steel pints in order to enjoy any of the frosty beverages for sale. The festival hopes to help eliminate single-use plastics and make a positive environmental impact by doing so.
The festival will take place on May 17 & 18, rain or shine. Lots more details about the event, including lodging options and shuttle services, can be found on the festival’s website at www.beaufortmusicfestival.com.