Austin can keep its South by Southwest festival. This year, Pabst Blue Ribbon is bringing its first-ever music festival, Dirty South by Southeast, to Charleston.
While Austin’s annual music blowout in March serves as a sort of industry showcase for emerging artists nationwide, the significantly smaller Dirty South by Southeast festival will show off the grungier side of Charleston’s music scene with metal, rockabilly and alt-rock bands at local dive bars.
The festival kicks off March 4 with Guttermouth and The Cryptics & Hot Charlie at The Sparrow in North Charleston. It continues through March 10 with performances by boogie-woogie act Screaming J’s at Chico Feo on March 5; punk/metal bands Godwin Falcon at the Recovery Room and Drunk Couples at The Mill on March 8; as well as rock band Matadero at Local 616 on March 9.
Jillian Cunningham, the local representative of Pabst Blue Ribbon, said the company chose to host its first music festival here because its army of loyal beer drinkers in Charleston also tend to love live music. The Recovery Room on upper King Street has held its title for years as the top seller of 12-ounce PBR cans in the world.
“Charleston has been put on the map nationally for its love affair with Pabst Blue Ribbon,” she said, adding the city “has a lively and interesting subcultural music scene and Pabst Blue Ribbon wants to support its existence.”
The local shows will also have an element of competition. Attendees can vote for their favorite acts at each show by placing a PBR tab in various ballot boxes. Bands with the most votes could take home a PBR Tour Package, including gas cards, music store gift cards, custom PBR goods and “other tour related necessities,” according to the festival announcement.
The festival isn’t the first time the brewery known for its cheap beer has aligned itself with local-level artists. In October, the Los Angeles-based company sponsored an art show at Redux Contemporary Art Center on St. Philip Street, where local artists and graphic designers displayed works inspired by the brand. The following month, PBR hosted a concert featuring local bands at the Tin Roof.
Nationally, the company has held several art competitions with big cash prizes and opportunities to decorate the globally-distributed cans.
For a full schedule of the Dirty South by Southeast Festival, and more information, visit Pabstblueribbon.com/2016/02/16/dirty-south-x-southeast.
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail