Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

Banjo-B-Que: Great Music for a Great Cause


Founded in 2010 just down the road in Augusta, Georgia, Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que has grown steadily, moving from the Fairgrounds now to the beautiful Evans Towne Center Park a couple of years ago as the festival grew. Though every year has featured a fantastic lineup, this year’s might be the most powerful, headlined Friday night by legendary Willie Nelson and Family and then the following night by Old Crow Medicine Show and Steep Canyon Rangers.

There are so many things that make this festival special, from the bands hanging out in the crowd, to sweet smell of slow smoked meats wafting through the air, to the all around good vibes of the festival, Banjo-B-Que is a family festival encouraging a good time first. Founded by the family of Joe Pond (Papa Joe), all proceeds raised at Banjo-B-Que benefit the Joseph R. Pond Memorial Foundation. Joe’s wife Elizabeth “Betty” F. Pond manages the endowment with the CSRA Community Foundation. Her goal is to help fund charitable organizations in the CSRA with a special focus on cancer related organizations.

This year two South Carolina bands find their way onto the bill in Columbia’s Josh Roberts and the Hinges and Charleston band SUSTO, who both fit in perfectly on the lineup with their Americana stylings. No, you don’t have to have a Banjo to play the festival, though, you’re more likely to be included if you do. Past acts like Avett Brothers and Trampled by Turtles were huge hits, but it’s hard to track down that many popular bands who include a Banjo these days. Old Crow Medicine Show are becoming staples of the festival, returning for another action packed year.

Tickets are just available, and it’s less than an hours drive, so make your Memorial Day weekend a memorable one filled with BBQ, music, and fireworks.

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