The Savannah Music Festival will close out its 29th annual season with a landmark event that will potentially launch a new era in live entertainment in Savannah.
Over the years, the city has hosted many great outdoor concerts, but the Savannah Music Festival Trustees’ Garden finale is the most ambitious one to date. The all-day event, beginning at noon, will feature 12 acts on three stages, a vendor marketplace, as well as local and regional food and beverages.
Representing the overall spirit of the festival, the day’s musical panoply includes an array of styles, from folk to Americana, Cuban, jazz, blues, soul and world colliding in the premiere of a brand-new event space.
The renovated Kehoe Iron Works complex at Trustees’ Garden will host the outdoor spectacular. The multi-million dollar project, helmed by the property’s owner Charles H. Morris with the help of architect and founder of Elevated Basement Studios Kevin Rose, over the last four years has transformed the dormant property into an elegant complex, designed with live music in mind.
“It’s a large outdoor event that the likes of which, Savannah has never seen,” Savannah Music Festival artistic director Rob Gibson said. “There have been plenty of outdoor events over the years, but I don’t think there’s been anything like what we’re about to stage with the breadth of artistic talent: Cuban bands, Venezuelan groups, rock bands, jam bands, and folk musicians.
“We’re also erecting a huge stage with a huge sound system, with Meyer equipment,” Gibson continued. “It’s an ambitious day. We’re hoping to get 5,000 people. Trustees Garden is one of the most unique concert spaces this city will have ever seen. Charles Morris carved that hill out and shaped it like an outdoor amphitheater. We have a stage at the bottom of the hill and another by the building.
“Charles has spent many millions of dollars to redo this entire property. I think it’s going to be Charles’ legacy for Savannah. This place that is so important in the history of our city, where the Trustees planted all these plants and fruit and thought they could grow things that never panned out. But, what is now there, almost 300 years later, is a great gift from Charles. I am hopeful that it’s going to be a great concert space.”
Rivaling the unveiling of the new space is the day’s artistic talent. The Grammy-Award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will co-headline a spectacular lineup of bands that includes Savannah’s Velvet Caravan and the hugely popular Stringband Spectacular concert.
“This closing event has 15 different performances on three different stages that day and working backwards from Tedeschi Trucks closing, we’re going to have two stages that alternate outside,” Gibson said. “It’s a heavyweight day in terms of talent. This is a real step up for Savannah.”