JerryFest was created in honor of the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, but the annual event in Columbia’s Five Points appeals not only to Deadheads (as the band’s fans are known) but also to fans of music of all kinds, as well as those who simply love the culture of love and togetherness embodied by Garcia.
“Deadheads need a place to hang out, and who doesn’t like to stand around in Five Points having a cold one?” Don McAllister’s question to the crowd of several hundred as the sun went down Sunday drew a cheer from young and old alike, with ages from toddlers to seniors enjoying the day together.
“It’s really about community,” McAllister added. He and Jenn McAllister, owners of Loose Lucy’s (named after a Grateful Dead song) helped found the festival and work with the Five Points Association to bring it back again and again, as new generations discover the magic. “This is just one of our favorite afternoons every year.”
In addition to the traditional outdoor stage near the Five Points Fountain, the 2019 JerryFest included an indoor venue at the White Mule. A concert movie of the Dead performing at Capitol Theatre in 1976 got the day started indoors as the Columbia Community Drum Circle kicked things off at the fountain.
In keeping with the festival’s theme of community, the Drum Circle was open to all, and many newcomers danced, kept time, and even tried their hand at the drums as the regulars offered to share and teach.
Vendors offered up food, drinks and souvenirs and Five Points businesses welcomed all as a lineup of bands took both stages for the remainder of the afternoon and into the night.
Information on upcoming events in Five Points is available at fivepointscolumbia.com.