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 flock to Glynn Zeigler’s Skunk Farm property out in Greer for a few 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.
The festival took 2020 off for obvious reasons, but they’ve come back with a bang, hosting a spring event that was one of their biggest ever. The fall edition of the Albino Skunk Music Festival kicks off Thursday, Sept. 30 and runs through Saturday night, and once again it runs the musical gamut.
If you like country-rock, the Pink Stones are playing. If you prefer five-star singer/songwriters, Jim Lauderdale is playing on Saturday night. And if you like Americana, well, just bring some lawn chairs or maybe a tent, set up and take your pick.
“Since we’ve started, the word ‘Americana’ has kind of become part of the music industry,” Zeigler says, “so that’s kind of where we are. We don’t want to be a country music festival. We don’t want to be rock festival. We started out as all bluegrass and then decided we wanted more.”
Regardless of your musical taste, Zeigler can guarantee one thing this weekend: You’ll like SOMETHING that you hear.
“People know I’m going to bring in a band that they’ve never heard of that they’re going to love,” he says, “whether it’s Lake Street Dive or you name it. I like to mix it up; I like having a variety of music.”
But the Skunkfest isn’t just about the music; it’s about the loyal crowd that has grown over two decades as the festival expanded from a glorified backyard party to a full-fledged multi-day event.
“That’s part of the enjoyment for me — seeing people having a good time in our little backyard skunk farm show,” Zeigler says. “We’re a music family. We’re a Skunkfest family. We’ve had weddings out here with people who met at Skunkfest, we’ve had proposals onstage, we have people from all across the country who can’t wait to camp next to their Skunkfest friends that they don’t get to see, otherwise. It’s the way a festival ought to be. We don’t do politics. We don’t do commercial stuff. Our corporate sponsors are the people out there sitting in the chairs who bought tickets.”
If you need a guide to this year’s festival, Zeigler was kind enough to pick out some favorites from this year’s lineup.
“The Nude Party’s going to be great,” he says. “Not a lot of people are familiar with them. Jim Lauderdale is a well-known name, and he always puts on a good show. Melissa Carper out of Texas, I’ve been hearing her on the radio a lot here lately. We have a young lady from New York City, Lizzie No, and I think everybody’s going to be surprised at her, she’s a beautiful gal that’s going places. Fireside Collective, they’re friends and fans. We’ve got a young group out of Denver called the Sweet Lillies, they’re actually going to open up for us Saturday morning. The Pink Stones are an alt-country band in the style of the Byrds or the Flying Burrito Brothers, they’re going to be a lot of fun.”
“There’s a lot of good stuff,” Zeigler adds. “There’s just a lot of good, interesting artists that don’t play around here that much. and we’re excited about it.”
Want to go?
What: Albino Skunk Spring Music Festival
When: Thursday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct. 2
Where: Skunk Farm, 4067 Jordan Rd., Greer