A Message from Dan Riley:
As I sat and watched one of my favorite acts of all time wrap up the Edisto Blackwater Boogie, I was overcome with emotion. It was just as I imagined it would be when I dreamed up the idea. This event is proof positive that dreams can become a reality if you pursue them with love, determination, a great team, an intense work ethic, and a copious number of checklists and zip-ties.
As the first annual Edisto Blackwater Boogie came to a close and so many talked about what a great success it had been, something occurred to me that I hadn’t even considered. Both my 16 year old and 14 year old chose to be there. They were right up at the front, dancing and just as happy as I have ever seen them. I had helped to create a festival that they thought was cool, and they wanted to be there. I didn’t realize that I would ever see that as a measure of success, but it doesn’t get much better than that for me.
So many other families were there soaking in the experience, absorbing the positive vibes emanating from the music. Combined with the crowd, the organizers, the vendors, the volunteers, the sponsors, the park officials, the trees, the river, the full moon, the police officers kicked back with their feet up and toes tapping on the dashboard of their multi-passenger atv, it was truly magical.
I have so many people to thank, and while I am sure I’ll forget somebody, I’ll do my best not to. Please add your name to the list if I leave you out.
First off, I could never thank my loving and supportive wife Jana Riley enough for the love and support she showed me throughout the planning of the Edisto Blackwater Boogie. She sacrificed countless nights and many hours with me to help bring this event to fruition.
Thanks to Eric Davis with Dorchester County Parks and Recreation for believing in the idea, appealing to county council for assistance to bring it together with the certainty that as this event grows, it will bring more and more visitors into Dorchester County and the Town of Summerville, which will ultimately benefit the local economy. Thanks for handling so much of the tedious paperwork. And thank you for bringing together all the ideas we were tossing around to come up with a great name for the festival.
Thanks to Brandon Goff, Givhans Ferry State Park manager, for taking a risk just three weeks after stepping into a new job. Beer and wine had never been sold at an event on State Park property and he managed to get it approved. His big heart and no-nonsense attitude was just what we needed to pull this thing together.
Thanks to Brian Anderson with ADVYON Business Technology Consulting for saying “Sure, you can use me and my team at no cost for the next 5 months, whatever you need.” Brian’s business acumen and logic helped guide us along the way.
Thanks to Sarah K. Bendorf for creating a sick-ass logo that people won’t forget. For working nights and weekends for months on end to create everything from the website to posters, stickers, shirts, hand outs, flyers…basically everything tangible that we needed to advertise and promote the event.
Thanks to Hugo Krispyn, the Edisto Riverkeeper and board member with Friends of the Edisto – FRED, for sharing his intimate knowledge of the river and years of experience in the entertainment industry! But mostly I want thank Hugo for driving two hours from Aiken every time we had a meeting! That’s dedication. He typically beat us locals to the meeting site!
Thanks to Friends of Dorchester County Parks for jumping on board to help pull everything together!
Thanks to Joshua Jarman with Wings Back Entertainment for bringing his wealth of music and band knowledge to the table, for being willing to do whatever was needed for helping to wrangle fans and performers to make sure everything ran smoothly and on time.
Thanks to Burt Connelly for jumping in, on the first day at his new job with Dorchester County Parks and Recreation, and coordinating the vendors for the event!
Thanks to Rich Malaguti, one of the best friends you could ask for, for his undying love of music and musicians. There are few people more passionate about music than this guy. He worked right alongside Joshua Jarman to keep everything running smoothly and on time. But most importantly I want to thank him for introducing me to Eddie White, Pierce Edens, and Kevin Reese.
Thanks to Eddie White with Awendaw Green, for taking a chance on a first year event. Eddie shared his experience and know-how without hesitation and was an incredible mentor, encouraging me to call any time I had a question…which I did. And thanks to his amazing team of stage and audio ninjas! Preston Danner, Adrian Champagne, Charlie Harvin, Jim Swain, Alejandro and Phil and Sammy from Stage Presence.
Thanks to Michael Kaltofen for grabbing the bull by the horns and hosting the Riverfront Hall Stage.
Thanks to Jennifer Stratton and Aracelia Skridulis for all the help on social media.
Thanks to Emileigh Lemelin, Shawn Kadric, Brad Fregeolle, Alexandria Lynn, Hal Robinson, Chrisi Robinson and Kimberly Sprouse Van Dyke for making the Green Room comfortable and inviting for all of the musicians.
Thanks to Dan & The Wildfire for traveling all the way from Boston to bring down the house on Friday night!
Thanks to Pierce Edens for summoning the spirit of the mountains to share with us and Kevin Reese for capturing lightning on his fretboard!! And thanks to both of them for contending with a flat tire and driving all the way from Chicago to sing us into the night Saturday.
Thanks to all of the musicians, vendors, and sponsors that made this event a huge success!!
Montana Dishong and the Carolina Coastline, Faith Schueler, Jeep White and the BBE, Atlas Star, The Mike Feund Band, Sill Crow, Saluda Shoals, Zach Quillen – Sufferin Solo, Justin Hodge, Clint 4, Chance and Circumstance, The Paul Stone Project, Thompson Faulk, Forty Mile Detour, Chris Boone, Joshua Jarman, Eldritch Root, Danielle Howle, Chris French, Logan and the Kidders, Jefferson Coker Band Cypress Creek – with Mark and Daniel Vann, Ben Somewhere, Roger Midwater, Matthew Crissman, Tar and Feather, Mac Calhoun, Corey Tate, Tom and Tina Strickland, Noah Grove, Michael Kaltofen, Ron Daniel, Flying Mountain Squirrels, , John Zachary, John Simpson, Jerimiah King, Jonathan Dupriest, Ledyard BBQ, Holy City Cupcakes, The Pita Stroller, Uncle Chucks Boiled Peanuts, Tacos Locos, Mary Bell, Chris Paget, Zach McIntire, Danielle Macintire, Brad Mallett, Danielle Duval, Kevin Lawler, Tracey Erwin, Caleb Quire, Tweak of Nature, Kitcat Cunningham, Loblolly Adventures, Matt Vincent, Will Rizzo and Dottie Rizzo, Brian Bogstad, Jesse Schafer, John Paul Jones jr., Jaimee Knight, Mak R-k Williams, Jig Wiggler, Public Works Art Center, Chris Rinken, Pourly Grounded, Ian Dillenger, Elijah Lee Drennen.
Thank you to all our generous sponsors and partners – Showa Denko Carbon, Summers Corner, Rusty Bull Brewing Co., Edisto Riverkeeper, Friends of the Edisto, Capital Service Group, Summerville Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Loblolly Adventures, Access Portable Toilets, Edisto River Adventures, Pee Dee Kayak Anglers, State Farm Insurance Agent Tony Pope, Azalea Magazine, Wings Back Entertainment, Colleton County Parks & Recreation, Coastal Coffee Roasters, Eadie’s Services, Friends of Dorchester County Parks, Givhans Ferry State Park, Dorchester County, Awendaw Green, and ADVYON.
And last but not least, thanks to all of the Festival goers, for having faith, taking a chance, sharing the vibes and love.
Can’t wait to see everyone at Next Year’s Edisto Blackwater Boogie!!