A highpoint of spring in Columbia SC for locals and visitors alike, the Indie Grits Festival has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings 13 years ago as a DIY Southern film festival. This annual 4-day festival of film, art and music celebrates the gritty creative culture of the Southeast.
With so much going on, it can get a little confusing for a first-timer. So, we broke it down for you - day by glorious day.
Thursday: Opening Night in Cottontown, 5 - 10 PM
Connect with old friends and bond with strangers to kick things off in one of Columbia’s up and coming neighborhoods. Live music spreads out across Curiosity Coffee Bar, Indah Coffee, and The War Mouth. Check the lineup here. Nibble on food at The War Mouth or catch a special appearance by A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen food truck at Curiosity Coffee. All locations will be servin gup a specialty Indie Grits beer by Columbia Craft Brewing Co.
Friday: Overdue Grits at Richland Library Main, 7 - 11 PM
A night of tech activities, arts & crafts, and interactive games intertwine with live music, food, and drinks by Village Idiot Pizza and Curiosity Coffee Bar.
Friday: The Weekly Revue at The Pastor’s Study, 8 - 9:30 PM
A variety show featuring special guest filmmakers, the Ross Bros, live music, comedy, and more, and your host—Toby Lou! Doors open at 7 PM.
Friday: After party at The Whig, 12 AM - Until
Known as the unofficial watering hole of Indie Grits creatives, Columbia’s iconic dive bar is waiting for your company with open arms.
Saturday: Kindie Grits at Richland Library Main, 11 AM - 1 PM
Kiddos get crafty with markers, glitter and other tools to create imaginative stop motion animations, led by an Indie Grits alumni filmmaker.
Saturday: The Fist & Spoon Fair at the Columbia Museum of Art, 5 - 9 PM
It’s a party on the Plaza equipped with food trucks, a regional zine showcase, puppets, films, live music, and more! CMA galleries will be open for free throughout the duration of the party.
Saturday: Puppet Slam at the Columbia Museum of Art, 6 - 7:30 PM & 8:30 - 10 PM
As a part of The Fist & Spoon Fair, enjoy surprisingly gritty and hilarious puppetry made for the adult crowd. Second showing is an encore performance.
All weekend: Indie Bits Arcade at 1216 Taylor Street, 11 AM - 7 PM
Think interactive media by way of video games, board games, card games, and virtual reality. There’s so much going on here, it has it’s own website. Check it out here.
Saturday: Closing Night Dance Party at 1216 Taylor Street, 10 PM - 2 AM
Dancing, drinks, interactive games and live music, featuring Breathers ZenSoFLy, 10th Letter, and Infinitikiss.
For more details on each event, check out the Indie Grits website.
Beyond the main events, there are unique film screenings pretty much all day throughout the weekend at Nickelodeon Theatre, affectionately called “The Nick” by locals. Check out what’s playing:
The Unafraid – Thursday, 3/28 at 4 PM | Documentary
Pig Film – Thursday, 3/28 at 4:30 PM | Narrative, Experimental
This Taco Truck Kills Fascists – Thursday, 3/28 at 7 PM | Documentary
Gimme a Faith – Friday, 3/29 at 2 PM | Documentary
Lumpkin, GA – Friday, 3/29 at 6:30 PM | Documentary
Always in Season – Friday, 3/29 at 7 PM | Documentary
While I Breathe, I Hope – Friday, 3/29 at 8:30 PM | Documentary
America First: The Legacy of an Immigration Raid – Saturday, 3/30 at 1 PM | Documentary
When Lambs Become Lions – Saturday, 3/30 at 4:30 PM | Dcoumentary
Black Mother – Saturday, 3/30 at 10:45 PM | Documentary
White Ravens: A Legacy of Resistance – Sunday, 3/31 at 12:30 PM | Documentary
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Basetball Story – Sunday, 3/31 at 1 PM | Documentary
Jaddoland – Sunday, 3/31 at 3 PM | Documentary
Don’t Get Trouble In Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story – Sunday, 3/31 at 3:30 PM | Documentary
For a full lineup of film features and shorts, check out the Indie Grits website.
For more information on fun things to do in Columbia SC, check out our calendar of events. Use our official hashtag #RealColumbiaSC to be featured on our website + socials.
Cover photo credit: Sean Rayford