Genna Contino

Inaugural Glass Half Full Fest unites community through music

Walking through the entrance to City Roots Farm on Saturday, music lovers were greeted with smiling faces and music playing from three different stages. Residents of Columbia all joined together to enjoy food, drink and music. Proceeds from the festival benefited Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, a local, private nonprofit organization.

To the left of the entrance, visitors were immersed in sounds from various bands as attendees freely danced and socialized with each other. To the right were various vendors that sold anything from festival clothes and handmade jewelry to baked goods. 

One table was hosted by Ashley Ferguson and Brandon Coleman. The pair heard about the music festival from a friend and said they were immediately interested in attending. They had a full set up of various gems, driftwood, jewelry and dream catchers. 

Ferguson and Coleman are motivated by “the love for digging for gems and just nature," and source 90 percent of their gems and minerals from South Carolina.

"The things that Mother Nature gives us, we just put ‘em all together and try to collaborate ‘em together,”  Ferguson said. 

Throughout the day at the festival, 14 musical artists performed. The farm had three large stages set up, but still maintained that local feel with its barn and string light decorations. The three stages set up for the artists to perform were the High Stage, the Shady Stage and the Steady Stage.

The Magpie Salute headlined the evening and was a crowd favorite. The rock band performed at 8:30 p.m. on the High Stage.

“I’m hoping it’s gonna get some more festivals like this going and maybe we can be a bigger music venue just in general and maybe it can help the tourism and all that kind of stuff," Aubrie Jones, an event attendee, said regarding the impact of the Glass Half Full Fest. "It’s always just good to bring more people into a city and a big event like this can definitely help that.” 

Jones is a USC alumna who graduated in 2016 with an art studio degree. During her time at USC, her studies focused on graphic design. Jones currently works for a graphic design company in West Columbia and designed the poster for The Glass Half Full Fest. At the festival, she had a tent set up selling posters but was worried the turnout wouldn't be great.

“In Columbia, it’s hard to have festivals like this, because a lot of times you don’t end up with the turnout that you wanted and it ends up failing," Coleman said. "Today, the community was brought together, friends that have known each other for years were brought together and it all worked out. That’s what it’s all about.” 


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