Savannah Music Festival gets great press in Charleston, Charlotte

The Savannah Music Festival kicks off on Wednesday night. After the last two weekends — Savannah Stopover and St. Patrick’s Day — many of us are a little weary, but I’m sure that feeling will wear off when the world class SMF gets rolling.

And some great regional press for the Savannah Music Festival came from Charlotte and Charleston this past weekend.

From the Charleston Post & Courier, which references Spoleto in The other arts festival: Savannah Music Festival kicks off this week:

Gibson calls it a “boutique festival” that combines high-end chamber music, jazz and world music, and at the same time shows off music of the American South.

“What we want to do is stage a lot of original, one-time-only productions, commissions (and) double bills,” he says.

He can do more of that these days. The annual budget is $3.1 million (about half that of the Spoleto Festival USA), an increase of $2.4 million since Gibson first arrived in Savannah from New York City.

One musical form that’s not produced at the festival is opera, which is cost prohibitive, he said, adding that he admired the Spoleto Festival for managing it year after year.

But anything else is fair game.

The Charleston piece doesn’t draw a sharp enough distinction between the SMF and Savannah Onstage, the festival from which the current one sprang, but it’s still a great bit of press. The Charleston metro area is considerably bigger than Savannah and we’re certain to see more attendees from coastal South Carolina in coming years.

And from the Charlotte Observer’s Savannah Music Festival highlights city’s spirit, soul:

Soulful, sultry, sophisticated – Savannah is a city eager to share its charms and reveal its secrets. OK, you missed the full-tilt St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but the renowned annual Savannah Music Festival is a splendid way to experience the spirit and soul of the city.

The event – March 20 to April 6 – is one of the most distinctive cross-genre musical events in the world.

The piece also highlights other attractions in town, including this nice snippet about things to do after the shows:

Post-concert options include Local 11 Ten (, a stylish revamp of a midcentury bank on Bull Street, south of Forsyth Park, that’s noted for killer cocktails and a rooftop bar. Also on that stretch of Bull Street: Locals like American Legion Post 135 ( Tucked inside a historic building, this cash-only dive is the ultimate insiders’ secret.

The Crystal Beer Parlor (, at 301 W. Jones St. (near Pulaski Square) dates from l933 and serves late night drinks and sandwiches.