Southern Ground Music & Food Festival Preview

Whitney Currin



In a little less than two weeks we welcome the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival back to town for its fifth year.


Southern Ground Music & Food Festival is one of South Carolina’s largest multi-day music festivals, and this year the festival is expecting to see an even larger turnout than ever given the new date being right at the beginning of tourism high season. With the Zac Brown Band riding high off of the release of their fresh single "Homegrown," it is the perfect time to see them this spring. 


With this music festival, the Lowcountry really does showcase that true homegrown cultural identity. It rounds out our spring calendar for a more youthful and low-cost party, along with the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Charleston Wine + Food Festival, Charleston Fashion Week and Spoleto Festival USA. I've collected my personal recomendations with some overall info about the festival to get y'all pumped for it. If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, get them here!


Zac Brown Band with Special Guest Warren Haynes - Photo by Southern Reel




The festival begins at 12pm each day with the final show of the day being 8:30pm Saturday, April 16th and 8pm Sunday, April 17th. Zac Brown Band will be the last show each night with the final performance including a “Super Set” mystery sit-in artist. Past "Super Set" performances have featured Kenny Chesney, John Mayer, Kenny Rogers, John Fogerty, and Jason Mraz.


Headlining performances this year include Thomas Rhett, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Kacey Musgraves, Hunter Hayes, and Marshall Tucker Band. The full lineup is available here.


Photo by Southern Reel




When the festival first came into existence, the idea behind it was to provide the perfect mix of food and music—because to Zac Brown, that is a perfect combo. That's where Chef Rusty Hamlin enters the picture. He runs the food side of things for the festival—with the emphasis of local and fresh ingredients being paramount.  


Hamlin's culinary squad this year consists of Chef RJ Cooper—Southern Ground festival veteran, Chef Craig Deihl—local Executive Chef of Cypress, Chef Patrick Owens—local Executive Chef of Langdon’s Restaurant + Wine Bar and Opal Restaurant + Wine Bar. Other local food concessions will include Home Team BBQ, Cru Cafe, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, Bohemian Bull, Kickin’ Chicken, and Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant.




Southern Ground and the MUSC Health Stadium have done a great job mapping out the best options for parking. Parking is free and a shuttle is set up at each lot to transport you to the stadium. For those looking for transportation to and from Daniel Island, a car service is recommended. Car services unique to Daniel Island include Ride It Out and Daniel Island Shuttle. Transportation on Daniel Island includes Daniel Island Bike Taxi.




I've lined up some of my favorite restauranst on or near Daniel Island to check out if you're joining us for the weekend from out of town. Charleston's food scene is world renowned, so if you're not full from the eats inside the festival grounds, wander around Daniel Island and grab some grub!

Sermet’s Courtyard

The Islander

Daniel Island Grille


Agaves Cantina

Dog & Duck




As always, there is shopping to be had. My favorite three spots—with reasonable price points for young professionals—near Daniel Island are here:

Blue Poppy Boutique

Paisley Boutique

II Brunettes