Brief History of FestivAll
FestivALL directly produces some events, co-produces some events and presents some events that are produced by other individuals and organizations
It includes visual arts, music, theater, dance and film as well as other cultural and entertainment events. It mixes fine arts and pop arts in venues and locations all over Charleston and includes a wide variety of styles and genres. Main Events are: productions by the Charleston Light Opera Guild, Mountain Stage, riverboat rides, Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off, Dance Gala, The Mayor’s Concert, Blues, Brews & BBQ, Wine & All That Jazz, major theatre productions and international acts..
FestivALL began in early 2004 when several citizens met with Charleston mayor Danny Jones to ask about creating a comprehensive arts and entertainment festival. Mayor Jones then spoke with Mountain Stage producer/host Larry Groce who suggested a combination of originally produced events with productions already being mounted by local arts groups.
Since its inception it has had the support of the Mayor and City Council. Support and production help has also come from the Kanawha County Commission, Charleston Newspapers, Fund for the Arts, Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Charleston Area Alliance and many business, civic and arts organizations. It also receives financial support from the State of West Virginia, the Central WV CVB, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and other foundations, corporate and business sponsorships, individual contributions and ticket revenue.
At the initial three-day FestivALL in 2005, there were 120 performances and exhibits. In 2006 there were just as many events and performances but more attendees and, in 2007, the number of days increased to four and events and attendees also increased. In 2008 FestivALL became ten days with attendance of over 40,000. In 2009, 2010 and 2011 around 50,000 people enjoyed FestivALL. In 2012 attendance was 53,569, with134 events and over 370 performances, exhibitions and presentations
FestivALL is always open for proposals of new events. Past headliners have included The Neville Brothers, Booker T and the MGs, Bruce Hornsby, Robert Cray, Savion Glover, Gladys Knight, Dierks Bentley, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride and more. It has coproduced public art projects such as the Peer to Pier interstate support column murals and always features site specific plays and dance performances and many types of Street performers.
"It’s a place and event where you can stroll and be happy, where you can look at art, hear music, watch street performers, and just mingle with people. You never quite know what treat will be up the street, what sight will bring delight.'
- Wonderful West Virginia magazine
Charleston is a family-friendly city full of great things to see and do for people of all ages. The best part is that in addition to great variety, everything is close by. In fact, you could fill a day with shopping dining and recreation without ever having to get back in your car. And those places that do require a car trip are quick and easy to get to.
If you prefer to stay out of town, almost every hotel in Kanawha County is within a 15 - 20 minute drive to all FestivALL events. So choose from downtown lodging within walking distance or out of town hotels close to attractions such as Tri-State Casino and Resort and outdoor recreation.
For more information about Charleston (some include dining and entertainment) try these web sites: