Savannah Music Festival is a cross-genre music festival that takes place in Savannah, Georgia. It was started in 1989 with the intention of bringing world-class music from different parts of the nation and the world to the city.
Over 500 artists perform at the festival every year, making it one of the largest events of its kind in Georgia. It is held in the spring, and the festivities go on for two weeks. It was initially called the Savannah Onstage International Arts Festival and was renamed in 2002 to reflect its renewed focus on music. Savannah Music Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019.
The festival features many different genres of music and performers from around the world. Artists who have performed at Savannah Music Festival in the past include Aaron Diehl Trio, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Daniel Hope, Adrian Cunningham, AJ Ghent Band, Bruce Adolphe, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Leon Anderson, Allen Toussaint, and Yefim Bronfman.
In addition to providing musical entertainment, the festival also works to spread awareness about the arts and has had a tremendous positive impact on the economy of the region. There are also dance performances, film programs, delicious food, and much more for guests to enjoy. Load up your Sprinter and head to Savannah, Georgia.
Purchase your Savannah Music Festival tickets to individual performances online or at the respective venues. You can save money by opting for one of the ticket samplers—Pick 3, Pick 5 or Pick 10. These will allow you to select exactly which shows you’d like to experience while offering considerable savings. There are also various venue specific and weekend specific packages available.
Children aged five and under can enjoy the festival for free when a ticket-holding adult accompanies them. Organizers request that kids not attend the classical performances.
Savannah is a two-hour drive from Tallahassee, Georgia, and just less than four hours from Atlanta. The musical performances take place at various venues in Downtown Savannah including historic buildings like the Trustees Theatre, Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, and the Lucas Theatre. Savannah sits along the river, and motorists will want to be prepared for one or more bridges, especially if coming from the east. Before starting on your drive, be sure to see if any road alerts have been issued in Chatham County by checking Georgia 511.
Limited on-street parking is available for cars close to the various festival sites. Some of the venues also have onsite parking, but spots tend to get filled up very fast. Parking a larger rig in Downtown Savannah may be tricky during festival days. Smaller campers and tow vehicles can often find metered parking or a pay-per-use lot. If your rig is larger, plan to park at your campsite and take public transportation to your concert choices.
Savannah Music Festival fans get around the downtown area using the Fare Free Downtown Transit System. A free trolly also runs through much of downtown. You can also hop on a bus or ferry operated by Chatham Area Transit. There is a bus stop right by the Trustees Theatre where the festival box office is located.
Want to see the other side of the Savannah River? Take a ferry or two just for kicks and have dinner in South Carolina. Another option is to use a taxi or ride-hailing service.
Due to the variety of venues that it utilizes, the Savannah Music Festival does not conduct onsite camping options. Fans are bound to find a campground or RV park in the vicinity of the festival.
Skidaway Island State Park is about 15 miles away and offers sites with full hookups. It also comes with many other facilities like cable TV, and big rig access. Savannah South KOA is another fully-equipped option that comes highly recommended by other campers. It is a 25-minute drive from the venue. Private campgrounds to the west and within 10 miles of downtown also welcome guests. If your route comes from the east, you may have the best luck finding a spot on the east side of the Savannah River in South Carolina.
Savannah is one of the most walkable cities in the region. Many of the venues are close to each other, and you can easily get around on foot. Most of them have accessible main entrances, with the exception of Temple Mickve Israel and Trinity United Methodist Church. Patrons with disabilities will need to use the accessible side entrances at these venues.
Many of your fellow festival-goers will be dressed in casual warm-weather clothing. Wear plenty of sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Dressing in layers is a good idea, so you can go prepared for the cooler evenings and nights. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must. A poncho or something to protect you from afternoon showers is a good idea this close to the Eastern Coast in March.
Take a small day bag packed with essentials like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, sunglasses, breath mints, chapstick, and a portable charger. Avoid taking any products packed in aerosol or glass bottles since these may not be permitted within some of the venues. If you plan on swimming or hiking at your campsite, make sure you pack all the gear you’ll need in your RV.
Water will be available for purchase at the various venues. Drinking alcohol will only be permitted in certain designated areas, and smoking will not be allowed in any of the venues. Keep your cell phone charged so you can get in touch with your group if you get separated. Keep the kids entertained at Forsyth Park if they need a break or to run off some energy.
Most campsites in the area will allow you to cook using the appliance in your RV or a small portable stove. If your outdoor experience will not be complete without a hot meal cooked over a campfire, call and check ahead with your chosen campsite if this is allowed. Open fires may be banned during certain times of the year.
Savannah is home to some world-renowned restaurants that it's worth a trip to enjoy them. The streets of downtown are lined with restaurants new and old to the tastebuds of hungry travelers. Although it is famous for its Southern comfort food and fresh seafood, you’ll be able to try a myriad of different tastes and cuisines. Many of the large national restaurant chains also have a presence in the area.
At the festival, you can get a taste of the southern hospitality that makes Savannah a vacationer's choice. Plenty of delicious food and beverages will be available at various venues. There will also be food trucks and stalls in the area, with top chefs and caterers serving up delectable festival eats.
Security measures will vary from venue to venue. Safety personnel will conduct bag checks at the main entrances. They will also provide assistance and information to anyone who needs it. If you’re in doubt if a certain item will be allowed in or not, leave it behind at your campsite.
Spring is an excellent time of year to visit the historic City of Savannah near the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy daytime temperatures ranging in the high 70s. The nights are considerably cooler with temperatures in the mid-high 50s. Weather updates are typically posted on the festival’s social media pages. Be sure to check these out before getting dressed for the day.
Basic first aid will be available at the festival sites. If you or someone you know requires immediate medical attention, call 911. Accessible restrooms will be present in all the venues. Special accessibility requests can be made by contacting the organizers or the individual venue managers. Emergency room services are within a 10-minute drive from downtown, and drug store options sit along some of the same streets as the venues.