15 Jul 2021
It’s been said that one of the only activities that stimulates, activates and uses the entire human brain is music. So it's no wonder listening to music - especially live music - is one of life’s great pleasures.
If you're traveling to Isle of Palms for a vacation, there's plenty of terrific live music happening all around the Lowcountry.
Of course Charleston has plenty of popular annual festivals where music is a big part of the scene. There’s Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto, High Water, the North Charleston Arts Festival, Charleston Jazz Festival, Greater Charleston Lowcountry Jazz Festival, and the Charleston Bluegrass Festival, just to name a few.
But live music also abounds here on Isle of Palms throughout the calendar year. I’ll cover two main options for your listening pleasure. One is right here on the Isle of Palms, and the other is just up the road from Mount Pleasant.
The Windjammer on the IOP
The Windjammer is an Isle of Palms institution. You could say that it anchors the island’s Front Beach area and has done so for almost 50 years. More often than not, it’s IOP party central. Their tagline is “Charleston’s Premier Beach Club” where it’s “Always a Jam Good Time!…” and they live up to it.
The Windjammer is always hosting something fun or worthwhile throughout the year, like special events, concerts and festivals, charity fundraisers or volleyball tournaments. One cool example: their annual “Jammin’ for Jammer,” named after a beloved injured loggerhead sea turtle who washed up nearby, raises much needed funds for the SC Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital. Sister Hazel also hosts their annual “Hazelnut Hang” weekend at the Windjammer each year.
Live music really is their jam, whether it’s on their back deck, inside the building, or out on the Bud Light Seltzer Beach Stage. An impressive roster of bands and stars have performed there. You never know just who might show up onstage any given night. (You may even find yourself becoming part of a music video.) Ed McCain is a regular. Keep an eye peeled for the occasional pop-up surprise event like Darius Rucker trying out his latest music, or hosting a special free concert for frontline workers and first responders.
The Windjammer’s live music calendar is packed with fun events all summer long. Check it out to see who’s performing, when. You can also check in to their “Jammer Cam” live web cams to see what’s happening right now, on the stages, deck or out on the nearby beach.
The Windjammer’s located right on the ocean at 1008 Ocean Boulevard on the Isle of Palms.
Awendaw Green Barn Jams
Popular new music venues are popping up all the time in the Lowcountry, and one of the most exciting and fun ones is just up Highway 17 North.
Awendaw Green is a creative alternative to the usual music venue, offering the chance to hear a great variety of music in a cool, laid-back, semi-outdoor setting. It showcases original local and regional music, and it’s drawing some great up-and-coming acts with diverse, global sounds.
Their weekly series of concerts - “Barn Jams” - take place literally in an old barn. But it’s a barn with professional sound equipment and a technician on hand to make sure the acoustics are top notch.
The Awendaw Green Barn Jams take place year-round on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. Each week they showcase five different acts. Admission is just $10 per person.
Barn Jams are definitely a family friendly event, perfect for all ages, and kids under 12 are free. It’s fun to gather a whole group and head up there to hear some terrific live music while hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. Well-behaved, non-aggressive dogs on leashes are also welcome.
Outdoor seating is provided, including some picnic tables, or you can bring your own if you prefer. There’s often a bonfire to gather around, especially when the weather’s on the cooler side. You’re encouraged to relax, hang out, and nosh while listening to some cool live music.
It’s BYOB. You can pack a picnic, a cooler, or maybe a wine and cheese assortment. They also have food available for purchase, including things like wood-fired pizza and fresh grilled oysters when they’re in season. Right now they’re hosting The Roost Bar & Grille and Holy City Popcorn.
Awendaw Green is located on the grounds of the Sewee Outpost, just north of the town of Mount Pleasant. From the Isle of Palms, just cross the IOP Connector, turn right and head up Highway 17. It’s located at 4853 Highway 17 North in Awendaw, South Carolina. They call themselves “A Laid-back Venue in a Laid-back Town,” and a “safe haven for all original musicians.”
Their website has the full schedule of upcoming acts. Click on the band or performer’s name to watch video clips of their music, for a little sneak preview of what you’ll be listening to.
So whether you’d rather stay on the island or drive a little ways out, you have a couple cool options for hearing quality live music, all year long.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger