Your Guide to Spoleto, A Southern Arts Festival of International Acclaim

Every year we look forward to May, not just because of the flowers in bloom and the lovely weather, but because it means the beginning of the annual Spoleto Festival USA. Running May 24 through June 9, Spoleto, in its 37th year, is 17 days full of art throughout the Charleston area. From theater to dance and from visual arts to live music, Spoleto brings international artists to the Holy City, combining the beauty of our town with the beauty of art.

Some of the highlights this year include a puppet version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” French circus Compagnie X, dancer Jared Grimes, Grammy-award winning musician Angelique Kidjo, Roseanne Cash, and many others.

Here are some tips for making the most of Spoleto:

· Enjoy dinner before or after. Many restaurants, such as Circa 1886, offer special menus and seatings around Spoleto performances.

· Buy your tickets online if you can (select performances are available) to avoid lines.

· Buy a poster. The posters are works of art in themselves and have become collector’s items. They make a lovely piece to put in a frame and hang in your home.

· Make it a package. If you’re coming to town for Spoleto, the Go Spoleto program pairs accommodations with performance tickets for package discounts and add-ons. We recommend staying at an inn or bed and breakfast for the ultimate Charleston experience.

· There is no dress code, so wear what you’re comfortable in. Keep in mind that for outdoor performances, it may be a good idea to wear sunscreen and insect repellent.

· Find parking easily. The City of Charleston offers numerous public parking garages at affordable rates all around town. There are many located near Spoleto venues. Here’s a map to help.

· Enjoy Piccolo Spoleto, as well! Piccolo Spoleto is a complimentary festival that focuses primarily on Southeastern artists. You’re likely to find some quirky and entertaining events at this festival, ranging from comedy and poetry to kids events and film.

Will you attend Spoleto this year? Which performance are you most looking forward to?

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