By: Lisa Marie Carter
Many may remember Blue Ridge Fest (BRF). The event, hosted by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative (BREC), was a way for the company to give back and engage with the community. This festival took place each year for 23 years, then like so many things it was shut down in 2020 due to Covid.
Rather than just waiting for things to come back to normal to bring the event back, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative used the time to review and re-evaluate the event. During this same time period BREC and WCFIBER came together in the Fall of 2020 to form Upcountry Fiber, whose mission is to bridge the digital divide. It was after this new partnership began and the shared desire of both companies to give back to the local communities in the Upstate that the Upcountry Fiber Foundation and Southern Fried Circuit came to fruition.
Upcountry Fiber Foundation focus on helping local non-profits that assist the community in health and human services, youth services, education, arts, and culture.
Jim Lovinggood, president, and CEO of BREC, and Jeff Wilson, president, and CEO of WCFIBER and co-chairs of Upcountry Fiber Foundation worked together, along with the rest of their board and team, to come up with a bigger and better event, now known as Southern Fried Circuit.
When planning the inaugural event, Lovinggood and Wilson stated Darius Rucker was the first choice of everyone involved due to the fact he is a South Carolina guy, he has such a diverse fan base, his involvement in charities, and of course, everyone’s love of his music. Much to everyone’s delight they procured Rucker to headline the first Southern Fried Circuit, dedicated to celebrating and connecting Upstate South Carolina communities, and to raise money for local charities.
In addition to scoring Rucker, the team was excited when Lindsay Ell, also known for her diverse fanbase and her philanthropic side, confirmed her appearance. When Ell was announced ticket sales spiked once again.
Photo Credit – Taylor Kelly
Southern Fried Circuit 2023 is currently accepting sponsors. Becoming a sponsor means you are helping local charities change lives in our local communities. There are numerous sponsorship opportunities available ranging from $5,000 – $50,000. When you become a sponsor, in addition to giving back to our local community and helping non-profits, there are some amazing benefits, such as a VIP Pre-Party for sponsors which includes entertainment, food and drinks, and some sponsorship levels even include passes for a meet and greet with Rucker and Ell. There are so many other benefits too numerous to mention. Benefits vary depending on the level you choose, and many sponsorship levels are limited to one sponsor only, and as of the time of this article, they have one sold out already. If you are interested in sponsoring this event or to learn about the sponsorship levels go to their website, www.southernfriedcircuit.com/#sponsors
Southern Fried Circuit will take place July 28 at the William A. Floyd Amphitheater at the Anderson Civic Center. Doors will open at 6 PM with Ell taking the stage at 7:30 PM and Rucker appearing at 8:45 PM. This is so much more than just another concert, it’s a way to support many of the local charities that support those in need in varying areas. Now is the time to get your tickets as they have already had such a great response you don’t want to wait and take the chance you’ll miss out. To purchase your tickets www.ticketmaster.com/darius-rucker-anderson-south-carolina-07-28-2023/event/2D005E4696E92475
This is the first in a series of articles on the Upcountry Fiber Foundation. In our July issue, we will discuss more about Southern Fried Circuit and Upcountry Fiber Foundation.
To learn all about Southern Fried Circuit check out their website – https://www.southernfriedcircuit.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/southernfriedcircuit and on Instagram @southernfriedcircuit
You can learn more about Upcountry Fiber Foundation at – www.upcountryfiberfoundation.com
You can learn more about Upcountry Fiber at https://www.upcountryfiber.com
You can read more about WCFIBER at – https://wcfiber.net
Blue Ridge Electric Co-op at – https://www.blueridge.coop