The venerable Music Farm reopens

A long time coming

Last year, on a steamy July day, the Charleston Music Hall operations team finally signed the lease to take over the Music Farm. Charleston’s iconic concert venue had been sitting vacant and undisturbed since the 2020 COVID-19-induced shutdown. Music Hall director Charles Carmody made his way over to locked doors at 32 Ann St. downtown.

“I remember coming in here that day and it was like they shut the doors and left and never returned,” Carmody said. “It was bizarre — there was still confetti everywhere, liquor bottles in all the wells, coolers full of beer running. It looked like they just disappeared.”

Considering Carmody had been jamming at the Music Farm since he was 13, finding the place abandoned like a classroom at Chernobyl was an epic, if unsettling moment. He just didn’t realize what Music Hall and its partners were getting into.

“It turns out, it’s the worst time to renovate a building in, like, the history of renovations because of supply chain issues,” Carmody said.

The top items on the to-do list were new HVAC and sound systems, which presented major hurdles as prices rose and delivery times lengthened. But the sorry state of the plumbing and electrical came as a shock.

Carmody

“The plumbing was actually tilted back into the building because it was built on a transformer,” he said. “It was wild to see how much of a mess it was. We just kept peeling back the literal walls and finding more and more issues.”

At first, a triumphant New Year’s Eve opening date shined in the team’s eyes … then it was Feb. 1 … then, for sanity’s sake, they decided to not put any date on a reopening.

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