It’s the Fourth of July, and I gotta be honest with you…I ain’t feeling it.

We’re in the midst of a particularly hideous heatwave (Monday was a bit of a reprieve as it only got up to 85 on my car’s thermometer). I have a chronic illness which is excacerbated by high temperatures. The current political climate and recent disgusting events have my pride in this country at an all-time low. STUFF TO DO is my least-read regular feature here in PopCult, but I do it as a service to my local readers (a small part of this blog’s global audience). Hardly anybody reads this blog on major holidays. And on top of that, the big thing happening here in town is The Charleston Sternwheel Regatta, an event of which I have never really been a fan.

However, my tastes are not yours. If the idea of standing in the heat to listen to bands that don’t particularly appeal to me, surrounded by sweaty masses of mostly inebriated and boistrous folks is your cup of tea, by all means go check out the offical website, look at the schedule, and see what events you wish to attend. I’l be where it’s quiet and air conditioned. Don’t let my complete lack of enthusiasm for the event deter you from enjoying it.  They got beer and food trucks and loud music, so if that sounds good to you, go for it.

Aside from that giant mess there’s still a lot of  STUFF TO DO this week. Please remember, if you are attending an outdoor event, stay hydrated and please don’t smoke or vape around any humans who might find the associated stank to be offensive.  I’ll still tell you about plenty of STUFF TO DO in Charleston and all over the Mountain State and beyond as we struggle to survive this summer.

As I have been copying and pasting of late, this a good time to remind you that THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS.  It’s just a starting point, so don’t expect anything comprehensive, and if you feel strongly about me leaving anything out, feel free to mention it in the comments. I won’t be offended if you volunteer to do the work I was too lazy to finish.

Live Music is on tap at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday it’s Cooper Lindsey. Saturday Bug Kinder-Schuyler takes the stage at the beloved bookstore/cafe/art gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this week  to tell you about.  Thursday at 5:30 PM Swingstein and Robin return with music for a cause.  Friday Tim Courts and friends will fill the Happy Hour with music starting at 5:30 PM. This week we have graphics for pretty much all of the weekend events at Charleston’s legendary dive bar/music venue. Check them out below.

Saturday The 4th Annual Bill Withers Music Festival will take place on Saturday, July 6, 2024, from 12 noon to 5 PM, at the Bill Withers Plaza which is located on top of the Beckley Intermodal Gateway, on Neville Street in Beckley. The festival will celebrate the hometown musical legend with music, booths, food vendors, and activities. Key features of the festival will include eight musical acts who have been inspired by Bill Withers’ music will be showcased during the afternoon. Talented West Virginia musicians will perform many of Withers’ hit songs along with other music.

The tentative Music Schedule (approximate times – may need to be adjusted somewhat depending on setup):

Noon – 12:10 – Welcome
12:15 – 12:45 – HGTA Theatre Group
12:50 – 1:10 – New Gospel Singaleers
1:30 – 2:00 – Jim Snyder
2:10– 2:40 – Lady D & MI$$ION
3:15 – 3:50 – Creek Don’t Rise
4:00 – 4:20 – Untrained Professionals
4:20 – 5:00 – Aristotle Jones

The community and visitors are invited to attend this free event to celebrate Bill Withers, our Grammy-winning Hall of Famer who grew up in our area. He is known for his timeless songs including Lean on Me, Lovely Day, Ain’t No Sunshine, Just the Two of Us, and Grandma’s Hands.

Please remember that the pandemic is still not entirely over yet. It’s a going concern with the ‘rona still lurking about. And now there are nasty seasonal allergies, lava monsters, giant vermin with newly-bestowed immunity, thousands of “economic impacters” and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

Keep in mind that all shows are subject to change or be cancelled at the last minute.

Here we go, roughly in order…