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News Release

3 Rivers Music Festival Announces Nine Confirmed Acts for 2006 Event—Classic Rock, Bluegrass, Country, Blues, Folk and Gospel Artists to Perform on Both Sides of the Congaree River

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Columbia’s 3 Rivers Music Festival is grooving into a new year with a new location and a diverse lineup that includes one of the country’s biggest classic rock bands, a Grammy-award winning bluegrass band, three high-energy country artists, a legendary blues musician, a pair of folk musicians and a gospel quartet. Music fans will enjoy the three-day festival in a new setting this year, as the event moves to the banks of the Congaree River on both sides of the Gervais Street Bridge. The festival is planned for April 21-23, 2006.

Classic rock band Styx will perform Sunday, April 23 on the Columbia stage in the parking lot of the State Museum. Styx has a legacy that has spanned over three decades of multi-platinum albums and hits like “Lady”, “Come Sail Away”, “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto.” One of the first rock bands to use the multi-voice synthesizer, Styx created a daring and experimental sound for the time. After more than 30 years of sold-out concerts Styx remains on the biggest rock bands of the twentieth century.

Contemporary bluegrass band Nickel Creek will headline on Sunday night on the West Columbia stage. Nickel Creek’s “newgrass” music has won over many fans beyond the genre's main audience. The band’s self-titled debut of 2000, which was produced by Allison Krauss, was presented the award for Emerging Artist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Association. In 2003, Nickel Creek won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Folk musician Richie Havens headlines on Saturday night at the Riverfront Amphitheater in West Columbia. Havens was a staple of the early '60s Greenwich Village folk scene with pals Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, but it was his 1969 performance at Woodstock that thrust him into the realm of folk royalty. Havens may be best known for "Freedom," which he sang when he opened the Woodstock festival. In 2003, The National Music Council awarded Richie the American Eagle Award for his place as part of America's musical heritage.

Bryan Bowers will also perform on Saturday night at Riverfront Amphitheater in West Columbia. For nearly three decades, Bowers has been to the autoharp what Earl Scruggs has been to the five-string banjo. He has been called the best autoharp player in the world because of his innovative style of plucking/ strumming as many as five different parts at one time. In 1993, Bowers was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame to stand only with Maybelle Carter, Kilby Snow, and Sara Carter.

Texas country artist Pat Green will headline Saturday night on the West Columbia stage. His performances, known for high energy and excitement, are quickly making him a national name. Best known for his hit single “Wave on Wave,” Green has received three Grammy nominations in as many years. Green performs frequently with fellow Texans and singer-songwriters Willie Nelson and Robert Earl Keen.

Country and blues singer Julie Roberts will also perform on Saturday night on the West Columbia stage. Roberts, a native of Lancaster, S.C., sings a blend of country and blues that both embraces country's heritage and reveals a fresh, contemporary sound. She has been compared to Faith Hill, Bonnie Raitt and Tanya Tucker. Roberts was nominated for the CMA Horizon Award for 2005 and her debut album, released in 2004, went gold.

Country performer Shooter Jennings will perform on Saturday night on the West Columbia stage. Jennings is exploding on to the music scene as one of Alt – Country’s top new performers. Jennings grew up touring around the country with his father, Waylon Jennings, and began playing the guitar and making music at a very early age. Jennings also portrays his father in the Johnny Cash movie, Walk the Line.

For all blues fans, bluesman Pinetop Perkins will perform on Friday night at the Riverfront Amphitheater. Perkins is one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen still performing, and is best known for holding down the piano chair in the great Muddy Waters Band for 12 years during the pinnacle of Muddy’s career. He is widely regarded as one of the best blues pianists, creating a style of playing that has influenced three generations of piano players. Perkins has won more than a dozen WC Handy Awards and in 2005 was given the Lifetime Achievement Award joining other recipients John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Etta James and Ray Charles.

Gospel group Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites, a quartet based in Lake City, will perform Sunday night at the Riverfront Amphitheater. They have won numerous awards over the years, including a Stellar Nomination for Quartet of the Year. The group has a traditional sound and is also known for their pop finishes and occasional urban touches.

“ All of these acts represent the musical diversity the festival is continuing to embrace,” said festival organizer Virginia Bedford. “One of the missions of the festival is to have music for everyone. With the acts we’ve announced so far, I believe we are well on our way to an exceptional 2006 event.”

Fred Monk, chairman of the Three Rivers Music & Heritage Foundation, said “There will be large stages on both sides of the river, artists performing in West Columbia’s Riverwalk Amphitheater, and local musicians performing right on the bridge. It is clearly an event that will give reason for much celebration in the region. ”

" The Midlands-area will see great benefits from the exceptional cooperation between both the Columbia and West Columbia sides of the river,” said Mayor Bob Coble. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the folks from West Columbia to put together a truly outstanding musical event.”

“We think it’s a great location and a great opportunity to showcase the beautiful Congaree River during a particularly beautiful time of year,” said West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton. “We are also excited about working with the City of Columbia and the festival to bring people together to enjoy a diverse musical experience. This event marks a new partnership for our cities as we literally connect the bridge for people to experience something new in the Midlands.”

The Columbia and West Columbia Police Departments are working together to insure the safety of festival-goers on both sides of the river. Harold Reeves with the Columbia Police Department assures people they will not experience too many delays with the festival. “We will announce road closings and inform commuters of the alternate routes so they can make plans after work on Friday afternoon. Blossom Street and 12th Street, on either side of the Gervais Street Bridge, will provide commuters with a clear path across the river.”

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall is confident that everything is being done to make the area safe and accessible to the crowds of people expected for the festival. “We are working together to come up with some unique solutions, including designated parking areas, clearly marked signs to direct pedestrians and traffic and possibly some shuttles to provide convenient and easy access to the festival.”

Early-bird tickets ($30) will be available beginning February 14 and ending March 1 only at festival headquarters, located at 1511 Taylor Street in Columbia. Beginning March 1, tickets for the 2006 3 Rivers Music Festival may be purchased at any Food Lion in the Midlands, festival headquarters at 1511 Taylor Street and online at A three-day ticket will cost $35 and a one-day ticket will be $25.

Three Rivers Music and Heritage Festival Foundation is a nonprofit corporation run by volunteers through the 3 Rivers Music Festival Board of Directors. The festival will be April 21-23, 2006 and will feature performers from a variety of musical backgrounds. Columbia artist Carl Crawford has created the art work for the 2006 3 Rivers Music Festival. Crawford uses collage and mixed media to depict the rich heritage of his neighborhood.

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