We discovered Jekyll Island's big beach music party completely by accident. We were riding our bikes on the bike trail paralleling the Atlantic Ocean when a shift in the sea breeze brought us the sounds of electric guitars and laughter.
We parked our bikes and drifted down to the beach behind the Jekyll Island Convention Center, where we found that there was quite a beach music party going on.
Turns out we'd stumbled onto the Jekyll Island Beach Music Festival. Not a family to pass up an opportunity, we joined the crowd rocking on the beach, mingling like we belonged.
Free Beach Music!
Of course, the beach music party portion of the Festival was free. Martha and I knew that, but our boys thought we were "sneaking in", and got a kick out of it - till we set them straight. I don't remember who was playing that year (heck, I can't even remember what year it was!). I do remember it was hot as blue blazes, but people were laughing and dancing and having a great time.
We didn't stay long, just through a few songs. But I've always wanted to go back when it's Beach Music Party Time on Jekyll Island and do the Beach Music Festival right!
A Little Music With Your Beach, Scarecrow?
This year's 30th annual Jekyll Island Beach Music Festival will be from August 16th thru 18th at Great Dunes Park and the Jekyll Island Convention Center.
The concert starts at 12:00 pm at Great Dunes Park and runs till 4:30 pm.
Music from the Craig Woolard, Jimmy Buffett tribute band Sons of Sailors and Second Chance Band will get you moving to the groove. Listen to the tunes, have fun with family and friends, dance till your feet get sore, and eat and drink like Bacchus at a bachelor party.
Good times is what this beach music party is all about, and Jekyll Island goes all out to make sure their guests and families leave content.
Party Like a V.I.P. Animal!
If, however...you are:
1) prone to sun-burn (or sun stroke, for that matter); 2) allergic to shag dancing; 3) over-dressed for the beach; 4) too old to keep up with your kids -
you can party in laid-back elegance by reserving a spot under the big top - the V.I.P. tent, that is.
For $75.00 per person you get Friday and Saturday night concert admission, and the right to enjoy Saturday afternoon's Beach Concert in pampered style within the cool, blessed shade of the V.I.P. tent. With your shady sitting spot you also get a BBQ buffet from Byron's BBQ - and FREE BEER!!!
You can order tickets for your reserved spot under the V.I.P. tent by calling Jekyll Island Information Center at 1-877-4JEKYLL, or (912)635-3636. They'll be mailed to you if you order before August 1st; otherwise, you can pick them up at the Jekyll Island Welcome Center on Thursday August 19th, or Friday August 20th, between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
And here's a tip I gleaned from friends I've talked with - ORDER TICKETS EARLY if you want to reserve a spot under the V.I.P. tent - they're snatched up quickly.
The Beach Music Party actually starts on Thursday night (I know I said the Festival starts on Friday, but bear with me). Thursday night there's an Early Bird Party from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. For $10.00 a head you get the double "F" - Food and Fun, which comes down to dinner and a disk jockey.
The Early Bird Party spreads it's wings at the Atlantic Hall in the Convention Center.
Kickin' Off the Evening Concerts
The real deal kicks off on Friday, August 20th with the appropriately named Kick Off Concert - this year featuring the Tommy Black & Blooz and Band of Oz.. Fun starts at 8:00 pm and runs till midnight. It's held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center in the Atlantic Hall. Tickets go for $15.00 if ordered before August 10; after that or at the door, the cost is $20.00.
For this beach music party, wear your best Hawaiian shirt and shorts, but no swim suits, please - don't want to scare anybody.
On Saturday the Festival slides smoothly into a higher key. At 10:00 am members of the Golden Isles Shag Club and the Carolina Beach Music Association offer Shag dancing lessons at the Atlantic Hall for $10.00 per person. This gets you into dance mode for the afternoon free Concert on the Beach.
Craig Woolard & the Swingin' Medallions highlight the Saturday evening festivities, from around 8:00 pm to midnight. Again, island casual is the dress mode. And wear something comfortable that you can move in - there's a shag dancing contest at 10:00.
We're still at Atlantic Hall here, and ticket prices are the same as Friday night.
You can order tickets to this great beach music party and BBQ cook-off by calling the Jekyll Island Information Center at 1-877-4JEKYLL, or (912)635-3636.
If you find your restless feet leading you down the beach to the Jekyll Island Beach Music Festival and BBQ Bash this August, don't fight the feeling. Give in. Surrender. Your feet know best. Your taste buds will thank you. And your ears will yell "Hurrah!" (no, wait, that's your mouth's job).
Leave your inhibitions behind, jump right in, do a little shag dancing. Then lay back, enjoy the music, and let the BBQ digest. You and your family are part of the Jekyll Island Beach Music Festival & BBQ Bash, 2010!.
Now if next year we can only get Jimmy Buffett to headline...