By Carl Sobocinski, Euphoria founder & past board chair
“Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset, Repeat.” Those lyrics remind me of Euphoria weekend. “Eat, Sip, Listen, Repeat.” As we look back on 14 incredible years of Greenville’s premier food, wine and music festival, I am amazed at how this event continues to exceed expectations and always improve on the previous year.
Many of you have heard me say, time and time again, that the best times to visit Greenville are during our fabulous festival weekends: Artisphere, BMW Charity Pro Am, Euphoria and Fall For Greenville. I will continue to brag on all four of these great festivals, but I am proud to say, without a doubt, that the absolute best time to be in Greenville, South Carolina, is the third weekend of September for Euphoria.
Euphoria’s impact on Greenville’s hospitality, tourism, economic development, quality of life and education is second to none. In 2018, Euphoria had a $3.8 million impact on the local economy during the four days of the festival. We had guests from 29 states and the Virgin Islands. This year, in addition to hosting the Association of Food Journalists, which brought in dozens of journalists from around the country, Euphoria gave four young culinary students a chance to cook on stage with Michelin-starred chefs. The non-profit festival also gave grants to three community organizations to fund instructional programs for deaf and blind students, equipment for a fine arts program, and scholarships for summer culinary camps for middle school students.
None of this would be possible without each and every one of Euphoria’s community partners, from event organizers, sponsors, interns and volunteers, to vendors, chefs and restaurant staff (both local and visiting), as well as local and state business leaders, elected officials and festival attendees. This kind of success and impact on our entire community only happens when we all work together, care about each other, and give selflessly.
While we are proud of Euphoria’s growth over the years, we’ve also worked hard to keep this event at an enjoyable size and maintain the intimacy that allows guests to interact with Michelin-starred chefs, songwriters who’ve written No. 1 hits, and some of the best winemakers, mixologists, distillers and chefs from across the Southeast. Each year, before they leave, many of the participating chefs ask for next year’s dates and an invitation to come back again. Some even call us when they get home, asking questions about potentially opening restaurants here. That is a huge compliment to those who work tirelessly to bring great talent to Euphoria each year, and a great sign that visiting chefs are being treated well while they’re here. We are proud to show them what Greenville hospitality is all about and continually offer them opportunities they value and appreciate.
I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to all of Euphoria’s community partners for your commitment of time, talents and community spirit during Euphoria 2019 (and every year). This is truly a community event, and one that shares the best of who we are and what we do. We should all be proud of what we can accomplish together, with great teamwork and the right mindset.
Please mark your calendars for the 15th annual Euphoria: Sept. 17-20, 2020. While this year will be hard to beat, No. 15 is sure to be the best one yet.
With sincere gratitude and thanks,
- euphoria 2019 Sunday recap: healthy competition and stick a fork in me, I’m done
- euphoria 2019 Saturday recap: dehydration code red and a dance floor sponsored by tequila
- euphoria 2019 Friday recap: José Andrés validates our tequila consumption and midnight dance brunch
- euphoria 2019 Thursday recap: perfect weather, a killer vegan tamale, and foodie fights
- euphoria fringe events provide variety of unexpected entertainment