For the last 25 years or so, the spring and fall editions of the Albino Skunk Music Festival have been bright spots on the local music scene. Twice a year, people would flock to Glynn Zeigler’s Skunk Farm property out in Greer for 2-3 days of outdoor fun, food, arts & crafts and music courtesy of a mix of nationally-acclaimed acts like the Steep Canyon Rangers, Lake Street Dive, Darrell Scott, The Avett Brothers and Shawn Mullins and local favorites like Angela Easterling, Jacob Johnson and Jeff Sipe.
But as we know, 2020 was just the worst and the Albino Skunk Music Festival was one of the year’s many pandemic-related casualties. Zeigler and his faithful team of volunteers were able to put on two small garden-party-style events, but that was about it.
“Well, it was dismal to say the least,” Zeigler says of 2020. “I’m retired from my construction business so my whole life is putting on the fest, and I had to put it on hold.”
This year, however, the Spring edition is back with a vengeance, sporting one of Zeigler’s best-ever lineups. From May 13-15, the festival will feature fast-rising soul duo The War & Treaty, the Louisiana alt-folk star Dylan LeBlanc, the popular neo-country Asheville band Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters, the dynamic bluegrass-jazz instrumentalists The Jon Stickley Trio and former Band Of Horses guitarist Tyler Ramsey.
There are plenty of other great acts further down the bill too, like Time Sawyer, Cruz Contreras, Ella & Mary and Kelsey Waldon, but good luck getting Zeigler to pick any particular favorite.
“It’s like asking who your favorite kid is,” he says with a laugh. “There’s nobody here to miss!”
And the fall edition is already booked for the end of September.
Zeigler says he never doubted that the Albino Skunk Music Festival would rise again. “We knew it was a temporary thing,” he says. “So it wasn’t like we couldn’t have Skunkfest again. We knew it would be back. The mantra was ‘hope and patience,’ and now most people I know are vaccinated. So I’m really upbeat about it.”
Of course, there will be a few differences between the 2021 version and past festivals.
“We’re going to require masks at the check-ins and in the food and vendor areas where you’re close up to people, but when you’re sitting out in a chair in the fresh air, vaccinated, I feel like we’re going to have a good time together. I’m a very optimistic person or I wouldn’t be doing this to begin with, and I believe our crowd will be careful and respectful and responsible.”
But safety protocols aren’t the only changes. Typically, Zeigler would’ve hosted the bands and fans in April, but he moved Skunkfest to May to be extra-careful.
“I didn’t start booking and planning ’til we could see where the vaccination was going to be,” he says. “We moved it from April to May in an effort to be in better shape and it’s certainly paid off. In fact, looking at the weather, I think we’re going to stay in the middle of May from now on. Things are greener and brighter.”
Zeigler says if judging by the pre-sales, the 2021 festival is going to be quite the party.
“I think it’s gonna be a big celebration,” he says, “because everybody’s going to be so happy to get out. We have a lot of room out here, and when we get the sounds and lights on and these artists come out onstage, we’re gonna be at full speed.”
Want to go?
What: Albino Skunk Spring Music Festival
When: Thursday, May 13-Saturday, May 15
Where: Skunk Farm, 4067 Jordan Rd., Greer