The first annual Square Fest drew a crowd to Forsyth Park last weekend. The music festival featured thirteen local bands and artists, including event headliner Word of Mouth.
Square Fest was culminated by Amanda Hollowell, the events coordinator and owner of JL Events, LLC in Savannah. Derek Mazo, Essie Smalls, and Robert Fleetwood Newsome of 9Twelve Entertainment, LLC also assisted in organizing and promoting the concert.
Hollowell’s desire was to create a music event accessible to families with children, as many Savannah musicians usually play after-hour shows at 21+ venues. Once she got the idea, it grew from a small show in a square into an eight hour event that attracted more than 1,500 people.
The show ran from 2 – 10 p.m. and featured a variety of vendors including Repicci’s Italian Ice and Graveface Records and Curiosities. Throughout the day, more families gathered under the shade to enjoy the music on picnic blankets and in lawn chairs.
During the free show, Square Fest volunteers collected donations from attendees to raise support for next year. They also collected donations to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire, which provides housing for families living within at least 30 miles of Savannah who have children in treatment at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital.
“We want to be able to give back to families in the community,” said Hollowell. “Each year we hope to be able to contribute to a different local nonprofit organization.”
Hollowell was amazed with the interest she received from local sponsors, such as music venue Live Wire Music Hall, retailer Elev8ed Urban Supply Company, and Zunzi’s after she began planning for the festival.
Brianna Woods, mother of two, says her family tries to attend most events in the park. Her husband, Dave, has high hopes for the event’s future. “We’ll definitely bring our friends next September.”
Bands like The Royal Noise brought the funk along with some interesting dance moves from audience members of all ages. Sunglow proved that DJing isn’t just for after hours and had free CDs available. Kota Mundi brought the relaxation with some reggae-rock while Doug from Be Good Ice Cream served ice pops on the sidewalk.
When the sun had set, Savannah Party Starters got the lasers and bass pumping. Glow in the dark bracelets and LED hula hoops lit up across the grass as Word of Mouth finished off the show, but not before giving a wild performance of their song “Raise Your Voices.”
With such a successful first event, Square Fest’s Facebook feed boasted today of a possible winter Square Fest. We can only hope for equally as fantastic weather — but we certainly won’t need luck to guarantee there will be more great music.
For information on the next event, go to savannahsquarefest.com or facebook.com/squarefest.Contact Raine Blunk.