Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Get your jam (and eat, and play, and ride) on at the Jam Room Music Festival

Posted 9/20/2013 10:36:00 AM

Last fall, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Jam Room Recording Studio in Columbia, founder Jay Matheson masterminded a downtown event that would be one part alumni party, one part national music festival. The event was received with so much enthusiasm from the music community, the region and fans that the plan evolved to an annual one. 

On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Jam Room Music Festival will continue to feature bands from the deep pool of Columbia’s talent alongside favorite regional acts, with country alternative band Son Volt headlining. Local bands include Josh Roberts & The Hinges, Mason Jar Menagerie, Stagbriar, Dear Blanca, Los Perdidos and a host of others. While Columbia will be the special star of the festival, some of the top contemporary rock acts from around the Southeast will also perform this year, including Great Book of John from Alabama, Spider Bags from North Carolina and The Kernal from Tennessee. Charleston’s Rachel Kate will also take the stage.

This year, great homegrown music isn’t the only reason to head into downtown Columbia. Much the way our love of music spills over into other parts of life, this year’s festival has plenty to offer for our taste buds, children (inner and actual), and exercise buffs. There will be a special Kids’ Zone on Boyd Plaza (at the corner of Main and Hampton streets), open from noon until 4 p.m., featuring face painting, art projects with the staff of Ladybug Studios and the Columbia Museum of Art, and student performances from the Columbia Arts Academy Stage. Kids and grownups can also create their own fun with sidewalk chalk, bubbles and hula-hoops.

In 2013 the Jam Room Music Festival is also partnering with the American Diabetes Association for a Tour De Cure Training Ride. The 25-mile ride begins at 9:30 a.m., and pre-registration ($10, includes T-shirt) is encouraged. For those of you who are more inclined toward a more leisurely ride, Columbia’s mayor Steve Benjamin will lead a free seven-mile ride through the city’s historic neighborhoods, hosted by the Historic Columbia Foundation.

For more information about the 2013 Jam Room Music Festival, please visit