HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – A Lowcountry legend is taking the stage once again.
Sea Pines Resort performer Gregg Russell will be holding his first concert Friday after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
“I can’t wait to get back to performing again,” Russell told WSAV NOW. “We missed all of last season because of COVID and this spring as well. So this is really my first time back on this stage in about 18 months.”
This summer will mark Russell’s 44th season playing his family-friendly concerts in Harbour Town below the Sea Pines Liberty Oak.
He will be playing interactive sing-alongs, and children will be able to sit on stage for a chance to be a part of the show.
“I think what people really enjoy is watching a 4-year-old come up on stage,” Russell said. “It makes for great fun. Sea Pines Resort told me more than three million people have sat here to watch. It’s hard to imagine.”
Russell got his start at Disney, where he learned about family entertainment. Now, many visitors consider his show the highlight of their summer vacation.
“It’s a magical experience to see children and adults gathered under the Liberty Oak, singing, clapping and laughing along with Gregg. His concerts truly are the best kind of wholesome family entertainment,” Sea Pines Resort President Steve Birdwell said.
Russell says the last few months were the first time he’s taken a break from performing since he began in college.
“I always had a busy calendar, up to 300 nights a year. Having not performed for 18 months, it was a little scary,” he said. “But hopefully, it’ll be like riding a bike, and it will all come back to me. I have been working diligently to rehearse, and I’m excited about reconnecting.”
“We establish relationships with generations of families,” he added. “Grandparents brought parents who brought kids who are now bringing grandchildren, so it’s a really special connection.”
Russell says the past year has been tough on all performers, but he’s excited to see live music making a comeback across the Lowcountry.
“It’s a great sign for the economy here, for all the workers who have struggled in this resort environment over the last year and a half or so. We are thrilled that people are back, having a good time, going to the beach, and hopefully coming out for some nightly entertainment.”
To protect the health of guests and staff, the Sea Pines Resort will spread out seating and recommend concert attendees wear a mask and practice social distancing. Guests are welcome to bring their own folding chairs and sit on the lawn area adjacent to the bench seating.
Memorial Day weekend kicks off Russell’s return to the stage, but you can also see his show from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on the following dates:
- May 28-30 (Friday-Sunday)
- June 2-August 20 (Monday-Friday)
- July 4 (Sunday)
- August 23 (Monday)
- August 25 (Wednesday)
- August 27 (Friday)
- September 2-5 (Labor Day Weekend)
Holiday concerts will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. with the Thanksgiving performance on Friday, November 26, and the Christmas show on Thursday, December 23.
For more information on this year’s Gregg Russell concerts, visit the Sea Pines Resort website.