TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — If you’re a dog lover or a music lover, you’re in luck.
The annual Grateful Dog Music Festival returns to the Pee Dee this weekend. The event raises money for three of the region’s Humane Societies.
The festival raised more than $30,000 last year to help animals in need. Organizers hope to beat that number this year.
Members of the Grateful Dog Family, the group behind the festival, spent Wednesday and Thursday setting up at Sugar Magnolia Ranch, a barrel horse farm in Timmonsville. The festival lasts from Friday to Sunday.
Sam Rogers, a Grateful Dog board member, said the event will feature food and drink vendors, auctions and 30 concerts across two stages.
“I can’t say enough about the bands,” Rogers said. “We have 29 bands, which is awesome in and of itself, but the simple fact that none of those bands are getting paid is even more awesome. These ladies and gentlemen donate their time, their hearts and their talents to our stages every year.”
Jayne Boswell, president of the Florence Area Humane Society said the money raised at the event can go a long way.
“Our animal shelters in South Carolina are in a bit of a crisis,” Boswell said. “Everywhere is full.”
Full kennels mean higher operating costs.
“For us to have an event like Grateful Dog, which is going to benefit three Humane Societies in our area, we’re just very thankful,” she said.
Rogers said he is bracing for the festival’s biggest year yet.
“The whole time, the pace of ticket sales have been better than last year, but in the last two weeks we have had a big spike,” he said.
He said the group has purchased $6,000 worth of beer and cases of vodka were provided by Tito’s free of charge — all to help local shelters.
“They don’t always get a lot of funding from their municipalities and governments, so they lean heavily on the general public and private industry to make donations and keep them up and running,” Rogers said.
Boswell said the cost of one ticket could make a life-changing difference for an animal.
“$15 for you might mean vaccines for a brand new puppy,” she said.
The festival benefits the Marlboro County, Darlington County and Florence Area Humane Societies. Tickets are $15 a day and can be purchased here or at the gate. A three-day, $110 camping pass is also available.