West Columbia proud – Rhythm on the River Spring Concert Series begins April 7

One of the most-popular events in West Columbia, and the Midlands- is the CMC Rhythm on the River Spring Concert Series.

The fourteenth year of the music begins on April 7, and this year the series is as anticipated as ever. The Spring Series shows are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater, Alexander Road and Meeting Streets, at the base of the Gervais Street Bridge.

“People don’t need an excuse to come our to our Riverwalk. It’s a beautiful spot that draws thousands a week from all over, ” said West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton. “But the music, the fellowship and the spirit of community that Rhythm on the River engenders is unequaled.” Horton said the climate helps make the experience even better.

“To sit out at the West Columbia Amphitheater on a warm South Carolina spring evening, listening to some great music is something we can be very proud of.”

Richard Skipper, executive director of the Cayce -West Columbia Chamber, is also thankful for the concert series.
“For 14 seasons, the CMC Rhythm on the River has been a great example of a partnership between the Greater Cayce West Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber’s business members and the City of West Columbia,” Skipper said.

“Rhythm on the River is a great event for the Chamber. And it’s even more exciting this year because the Riverwalk Amphitheater has been newly renovated vt the City of West Columbia with Hospitality Tax funds,” he said.

This music series features local and regional music artists, food trucks and the best view of the river in the Midlands. New for this year is the addition of a weekly “dessert” truck. And the Department of Agriculture will be featuring a South Carolina Grown or Specialty Vendor each week. The City of West Columbia will also be providing shuttle service from nearby parking lots for easy access to the venue.”

2018 Spring ROR Line-up : April 7, Danielle Howle; April 14, Papa String Band, with opener, Back South; April 21, Flat Out Strangers: April 28 Sufferin Moses, opener, Moon Pi; May 5, The Distributors, opener, Whisky Tango; May 12, Kenny George Band; May 19, Bellavida; Adrian Michael Band; May 26, Travelin’ Kline, opener, Finnegan Bell.

Steve Cohen is a member of the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Board. He has helped coordinate the Rhythm on the River Concert Series since it began.

“It’s something I get excited about every year. It never gets old,” said Cohen. “I love the seeing the great crowds of people, and I look forward to showing off West Columbia. We have people who come from Columbia, Cayce, Lexington, Gaston Swansea, Pelion. Rhythm on the River draws an audience from all around. Many times I’ve talked to people who come from outside of our area, too. We get visitors from Charleston, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Florence, Newberry, Camden Sumter and Aiken.”

Cohen said one of the best parts of working the concert series is the feedback he gets.

“People see that I am part of the staff putting on the concerts, and they come up to me and tell me how good it is. They’ll tell me how much they enjoy the experience, and love the music. They will want to know which band is playing the next week, so they can come back,” he said.
Cohen said over the years he has come to learn that some bands that play Rhythm on the River bring a large following with them. And that’s good for attendance. He also said the concerts get a fair share of regulars.

“We have a base crowd that comes on a weekly basis because they know there’s going to be good music, good food, and a festive atmosphere. And they love that,” said Cohen.

The river is also a marketing tool for Rhythm on the River.

“We start setting up around noon,” Cohen said. “We’ll see people coming up from the water after tubing or kayaking. “They’ll ask what we’re doing?” said Cohen. “We tell them we’re setting up for Rhythm on the River. And when they hear about it, they go home, change clothes and come back.”

The Rhythm on the River Spring Concert Series is almost upon us. It’s a sign that warm weather is here and the crowds anticipate the sweet sound of music by the water, as much as they love the flowers and the sun.


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