BOWMAN — Yonder Field, a new outdoor concert venue between Charleston and Columbia, is canceling its opening event scheduled for May 27 because of vendor delays, organizers say. Musicians slated to perform on Memorial Day Weekend will instead appear there August through October.
“After careful consideration, we have collectively decided to postpone our May date,” Stacie Darr White, president and general manager of the startup venue, said in a statement. “With events of this scope and magnitude, there are numerous moving parts that need to interface with each other to provide the best concert experience. Due to some delays in deliverables beyond our control, we have decided to postpone our opening until late summer."
Yonder Field will present a Solar Eclipse Family Festival on Monday, Aug. 21, featuring Uncle Kracker, Edwin McCain and Corey Smith. The concert coincides with the upcoming historic solar eclipse.
On Oct. 13 and 14, the Craft Beer and Music Festival will feature headliner Dr. John. Villanova, and others also will perform. Organizers will soon announce additional artists and events. The 2018 season will begin in April and run through October.
All online orders for the "Bowman Bound" opener will be refunded automatically and confirmation emails will be sent to ticket purchasers. For those who bought tickets in person, return to the point of purchase. Contact Ticketfly Customer Support at email@example.com with questions.
White said the fall lineup likely will include nine to 11 different events, some of which will be community-based.
She wouldn’t expand on her prepared statement, saying only that the undertaking has been long in the making and has received strong support from industry professionals and journalists, vendors, artists and investors.
“We’re ready to go,” she said. “It broke my heart to have to postpone that show. But in the grand scheme of things, when we took a look at where we were, and the fall lineup, it just seemed like the right decision.”
White would not discuss the economics of the venture, though it is evident that the costs are significant and include marketing and advertising, website development, vendor contracts, land purchases and preparation, art procurement and the purchase of several mobile cabins that cost $50,000 each.
“She’s put a lot of her own money into this, and her heart and her soul,” Yonder Field publicist Lauri Fultz said.
White grew up in the Aiken area, attended Clemson University then moved to New York City, where she worked for eight years at Madison Square Garden. More recently, she worked for Atlanta-based AG Entertainment and freelanced for Superfly, which presents the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival in Tennessee.
She returned with her 3-year-old son to South Carolina and moved to Folly Beach in March, partly to provide a nurturing environment for her son and partly to launch this new business venture, she said.
“If this is what I do, then how am I going to do it in South Carolina?” she asked herself five years ago. “There’s nothing of that scope (in the state), so if we’re going to do it, we’ve got to build it.”
Yonder Field is located about halfway between Columbia and Charleston, just off Interstate 26, and near S.C. Highway 301. White purchased 139 acres of land from Patten Seed Company, which owns Super-Sod. She’s leasing another 70 acres. All the grading and drainage work has been completed, she said.
The site will have two stages, a camping area, food vendors, a covered pavilion, a “musician’s village” of six portable cabins, a VIP area, outdoor activities and more. Little of the infrastructure is permanent. Rather, contractors will set up the stage, stands, portable toilets and other concert necessities before each event, then break it all down and take it away afterward.
This “turnkey” approach makes sense financially, White said. It minimizes any impact on nearby residents. And it enables grass seed cultivators to sustain the farming operation. At the end of each grass-growing season, Super-Sod will harvest seeds.
Charleston artist David Boatwright and Charleston graphic designer Gil Shuler are co-creative directors for the project. Boatwright created two large murals for the Bowman site, and he’s procuring additional works — sculptures mostly — from other artists. He’s also consulting on design and construction. Shuler is responsible for the logo and all visual elements.
Fultz said the venue will host single concerts, one-day festivals featuring multiple performers and ancillary activities, and special events meant for the local community. Branchville, Orangeburg, Harleyville and Santee all are a short drive from the site.
Residents who live in close proximity to Yonder Field are few but generally concerned about the potential for noise, traffic and disruption, Fultz said.
White said preparations have included sound studies indicating that noise is not likely to be a big problem. The stages will be directed away from nearby homes, with most of the sound projected toward I-26, which passes nearby. Abundant parking will be provided near the entrance to the site.
The goal is to present concerts mostly in the spring and fall, when school is in session and when the weather is likely to be conducive.
“We want to be open in 2018 April, May and June, go away in July and August when it’s gross and humid, then come back in September,” Fultz said.
Visit www.yonderfield.com for 2017 season details, updates and ticket information.