Savannah Music Festival 2014 sales underway after kickoff party with Sierra Hull

Well I sure didn’t expect 350 or so people to show up last night at the Morris Center for the Savannah Music Festival‘s free kickoff party for next spring’s festival.

Maybe the big crowd was due to the word “free”, maybe due to the chance to hear the stellar Sierra Hull and Highway 111, maybe due to the simple fact that the Savannah Music Festival is becoming ever more embedded in the cultural life of the city.

I have a class from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. on Thursdays, so I didn’t have my usual itchy trigger finger to buy tickets the moment they went on sale at 10 a.m. today. Sure, at 10:45, I still got some great tickets for several shows I wanted to reserve seats for — Robert Cray Band, Taj Mahal Trio/John Simon, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, and Punch Brothers. The first three of those shows are at the Lucas Theatre, my favorite theater venue in town. (For the record, I always buy a fair number of SMF tickets, generally for shows with reserved seating, and I get press access to a number of other performances, primarily ones with general admission where I know I won’t be taking the seat of a paying customer.)

By the time I bought my tickets, some of the higher profile shows had already sold a fair number of seats, although none are close to being sold out as of this writing on Thursday evening. There are still about 600 seats still available for The Avett Brothers in Johnny Mercer Theatre, for example, although they aren’t great seats. So the theatre is only 3/4th sold out after the first day of sales for a show that’s still over four months away . . .

Click here to check out the schedule and click through for ticket sales.

Here’s a taste of Sierra Hull and her band — they’ll be opening for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder on March 27th and also playing at Randy Wood Guitars on Nov. 16th.

And a few shots I took last night. The lighting conditions were a little tough for the equipment I was carrying: