We're proud to announce today that ListenUp Myrtle Beach is taking the next step in our support of the local music community. We're going beyond just monthly music showcases to bring local music fans something truly special and unique to this area.
Kicking off next spring will be the Coastal Food & Music Fest, a week-long celebration of local culinary and musical talent that will highlight the area's best restaurants and nightlife spots while paying special attention to the chefs, musicians and patrons that make our area unlike any other.
In conjunction with noted food critic/blogger Becky Billingsley of Myrtle Beach Restaurant News, ListenUp editor Chris Mowder will organize the festival, tentatively scheduled for May 6-12, 2012.
Details are still be determined as to exactly where events will take place, but the plan includes having a central location for culinary demonstrations, food and beverage sampling and live entertainment each evening and then taking to the towneach night for after parties which feature food & drink specials and the area's hottest original bands performing live.
"We want to think of it as a miniature SxSW for our area," said Mowder. "We really plan to make an effort to bring out the best buzz bands of our area and to provide people with some great interactive elements that will go beyond anything they're used to seeing here."
The seven-day culinary competition will be open to any professional cook (line cook, sous-chef, executive chef) who has worked for at least two years in Horry or Georgetown County. Entry in the competition is free, and each day the number of cooks left standing will decrease. The winner of the competition will receive a highly-coveted grand prize that will let folks all over the area know they are the "Coastal Chef of the Year.
"I really want to focus on our chefs and highlight their skills," said Billingsley. "I feel like it's my duty to help our local chefs become celebrities. Charleston has their 'celebrity chefs' and we have ours as well and we need to let people know about it."
In addition to amazing chefs and great food, the festival will highlight musical talent in many different genres.
By hosting themed nights throughout the week the event will seek to showcase with the best of both worlds. One night may be Movin' Monday with laid-back Reggae jams, Island drinks and Jerk Chicken while the next could be Blues Tuesday, a night full of great local Blues music and specials on BBQ, ribs and other soul food.
"We want to create something that will truly explore the cross-section of food and music in a way that our area hasn't seen before," said Mowder.
In addition to the event itself, Coastal Food & Music Fest will also give back to community at large with nearly a third of its proceeds going to various charities across the Grand Strand.
More details will be available soon upon the launch of the festival website later this summer, but if you'd like to know more or are interested in getting involved as a sponsor, charity beneficiary, chef, performer or volutneer, please contact Becky Billingsley at 843-446-6502 or e-mail becky@thefoodsyndicate or contact Chris Mowder at 843-882-5334 or email@example.com.
WMBF This Week
Here's a look at the Weekly news show on local NBC affliate WMBF, where we announced Coastal Food & Music Festival: