“I’ve never been to the Festival before. There are so many choices! Where do I start!?”

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. We hear this all the time. Heck, everyone had to attend the Festival for the first time at one point or another. We know the task of putting together a Festival experience can feel daunting, but we’re here to help! This suggested itinerary is great for a first-time attendee and takes place over two days during the excitement of opening weekend. If you can’t make this exact lineup work, that’s okay! Use it as a starting point and make adjustments to fit your schedule, interests, and budget. 

FRIDAY, MAY 22

  • 1:00pm: Bank of America Chamber Music at Dock Street Theatre

Why not start with a classic? The Bank of America Chamber Music series is truly a Spoleto staple and perennial favorite for Charleston audiences. These twice-daily early afternoon concerts fit perfectly into any Festival itinerary and boast the very best of what chamber music has to offer. 

  • 8:00pm: Romantics Anonymous at Dock Street Theater

After an early dinner, head back to the historic Dock Street Theatre (it’s definitely worth a second visit) for this year’s musical theater offering. Romantics Anonymous—with 20 performances throughout the course of the Festival—is a “sweetly funny, gorgeously tender musical rom-com” (The Times)—the perfect treat for a Festival first timer!

SATURDAY, MAY 23

  • 6:00pm: Scottish Ballet’s The Crucible at the Gaillard Center

Following a day at the beach, make your way to the Charleston Gaillard Center for Scottish Ballet and their “sensual and arresting” (The List) performance of The Crucible. Watching Arthur Miller’s masterpiece unfold through dance in the grand hall of the Gaillard Center is sure to leave you in awe. 

Added bonus: You can easily walk directly from the Gaillard Center to the next performance at the Cistern Yard!

  • 9:00pm: A New Orleans Jazz Celebration at the Cistern Yard

Trust us when we say that attending a concert underneath the stunning live oaks of the College of Charleston Cistern Yard simply must be on your bucket list. Add that to the star-studded roster of A New Orleans Jazz Celebration and you have set yourself up for a spectacular evening of Big Easy music. 

“I’m in! What now?”

Tickets to these—and all—Festival performances are available online at spoletousa.org or by phone at 843.579.3100. Remember: this is just a suggested itinerary to show you what a Festival experience could look like. We encourage you to browse all of the Festival’s offerings to find the experience perfect for you!

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