Lee Greenwood headlines a (sort of) revival of 3 Rivers Music Festival this summer

Staff ReportsMay 1, 2013 

Alamo Bowl Football

Singer Lee Greenwood performs before the Alamo Bowl college football game between Baylor and Washington, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.


A new 3 Rivers Music Festival in Columbia will be over two weekends in July in two different locations, including the St. Andrews area.

Lee Greenwood, J. Moss and Musiq Soulchild are among the acts scheduled to perform on July 6 at St. Andrews Park and July 13 on Park Street between College and Gervais streets — an area that straddles part of the USC campus and some Vista businesses.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, organizers shared the details of the festival.

The festival’s name is the same as the one held from 2000 to 2007 in downtown Columbia. It drew such acts as OutKast and Aretha Franklin, but was strained financially.

This 3 Rivers Music Festival will be on a different scale.

The first weekend, gospel and jazz acts will be scheduled to perform. The second date will be reserved for rock, country and R&B acts.

Richland County Council chairman Kelvin Washington said he was encouraged to move forward after good turnout at an event at St. Andrews Park last July.

Organizers, who include businesswoman Sandra Sims and Nnena Nchege, who manages the Atlanta Jazz Festival, said the festival will be free, but VIP tickets that include hospitality tents and refreshments will be sold. These ticket sales, plus merchandise sales and concessions, will help the festival break even, organizers announced at the news conference.

Plans were first announced last December; organizers said that the festival would be over two days, July 12-13, at the historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce and Finlay Park, respectively.

Funding for the festival is coming from several sources, including corporate sponsorships, hospitality grants from the city and county, individual sponsorships and refreshment sales, it was noted in a news release Wednesday.

The organization has asked the city of Columbia for $150,000 in meal-tax revenue for this year’s concert, said Libby Gober, who coordinates the highly competitive applications for a share of the city’s income from the tax.

An advisory committee that screens most applications is to take up the 3 Rivers request on May 20, Gober said Wednesday.

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