While paddling down the Edisto River on a moonlit kayak tour, Dan Riley first got the idea of hosting a nighttime music event by the waterway.
“I thought it would be the perfect place to get people together and have a little music thing under the light of a full moon,” Riley recalled.
After mentioning the idea to a not-fully convinced property owner, because of ample unexpected flooding on his land, Riley put it on the back burner. That is until that same property owner called him a year and a half later to connect him with a place just two miles down the road — the state park, which just so happened to have a new manager.
Riley and the manager met, plans were formulated and the Edisto Blackwater Boogie Festival was the first event in South Carolina State Parks history to serve beer and wine to the public in 2019.
This year, the festival will return for a fourth time to Givhans Ferry State Park; some of the funds raised from the event go back to preserving the Edisto River for future generations.
The 2023 festival takes place Oct. 27-29, featuring more than 35 local and regional bands over the course of three days, alongside food trucks, artisans and vendors, yoga sessions and more. Overnight camping is highly encouraged for a truly immersive experience.
Riley, who is a musician and songwriter himself, will be one of the acts playing this year’s Blackwater Boogie with his project The Marvelous Misfits.