I was expecting a room full of trustafarians at last night’s Spoleto Scene party for singer Sarah Jarosz. You know the kind: Charleston’s young, rich, and skinny. Festival patrons in their 20s and 30s who can afford the Scene membership fee, which range anywhere from $100-$499. If you’re reading that and thinking, "$100, that’s all?," you’re not in your 20s and you’re not a freelance writer, but I digress.
Luckily, not a silver spoon was in sight. In fact, at 7:30 there was barely a face in sight. A handful of well-dressed people wandered the room sipping the requisite glass of pinot grigio. But where were all the rest of them?
Fashionably late of course. Roughly an hour in, attractive millennials finally made their way to the fete. City Paper contributor Maggie Winterfeldt dropped by and introduced me to both Margo Kaufman gallery owner Jeffrey Rhodes and his Cookie Monster blue hair. “It’s not normally this color,” he told me, but didn’t elaborate. Quarter-life crisis, I presume.
“You have to meet Laura Medina,” Winterfeldt said. “She’s a fashion blogger from L.A.”
Medina, originally from Goose Creek, returns to Charleston for Spoleto each year in order to refresh her eyeballs, she says, and check out East Coast trends.
Like a tube-topped oracle, she leaned in ominously and whispered, “We need to take the skank out of hot pants.” Mmm, quite, I responded, then left the bon ton Yoda for the bar. En route I found the Player family, Elizabeth, Will and Stokes Player to be exact. The threesome have been Scene members since before it was even called Scene, back when it was called Cognoscenti.
“I bought Sarah Jarosz's CD last week and I think the show will be really good,” Will Player told me. Most attendees hadn’t heard of the musician pre-Spoleto but, as equal opportunity music appreciators, all were eager to hear her out.
By the by, I heard that during the afternoon tech rehearsal the 20-year-old Jarosz got into a bit of a tizzy with some staffers. Quelle horreur! It was something about her being personally slighted. Sadly, the good festival PR gals were mum on the details. Scenesters were none the wiser.
Most of the discussion was related to what to wear Saturday night at the Scene white party. Clearly, white is the obvious answer, but even some of the gentleman I spoke to were sweating the idea of putting on a full white linen suit — like literally sweating.
“It’s going to be so hot,” said Garrett Bean. The tall real estate agent plans to keep it simple in a button down and slacks — no jacket this year for the outdoor event scheduled for the Seabreeze Hotel and Dock. Bean had hit up a South Battery party the night prior and found it be a bit too stodgy. "I was the youngest person there!" he said.
After circulating the room and the pu pu platters (featuring skewered caprese salad, crab crudites and corn chips with guacamole) one too many times, I came to a conclusion that Spoleto Scene members are kind of like Future Farmers of America. That’s right, the FFA.
Like the John Deer-loving youth of America, FFA kids and Scene “kids” are both training for their future. For the former it’s a life harvesting fields, for the latter it’s a life actively supporting this community’s arts initiatives. One group preps by showing pigs at county fairs, the other attends Taylor Mac, then tweets a sarcastic review. One smells like manure, the other like Acqua di Gio (like maybe a little too much Gio). In other words, Scenesters are the Future Society Members of Charleston (FSMC). And just like how I always secretly thought the FFA kids with their 4H projects and their homemade broom skirts were kind of cool, I’m diggin the Scenesters, with their genuine interest in art, music, and theater, too.
Meet the new FSMC: 100 percent trust fund free.