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Hootie & the Blowfish reunion tour torpedoes annual summer concert in Charleston

Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, and Mark Bryan, of Hootie & the Blowfish, pose for a portrait at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The band is returning with a tour and album 25 years after “Cracked Rear View” launched the South Carolina-based rock band.
Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, and Mark Bryan, of Hootie & the Blowfish, pose for a portrait at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The band is returning with a tour and album 25 years after “Cracked Rear View” launched the South Carolina-based rock band. AP

The good news for Hootie & the Blowfish fans in South Carolina came Monday, when the chart-topping band announced it was reuniting to make new music and a summer tour in 2019.

The bad news came Tuesday, when it was confirmed the group, fronted by country music star Darius Rucker, will not be playing its annual concert series in Charleston next August — because of the reunion tour.

Hootie & the Blowfish, which formed while they were students at the University of South Carolina, will perform at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Aug. 10, according to the tour schedule on its website.

That is the same date the annual Homegrown Weekend is scheduled for in 2019.

A spokesperson for the Grammy-winning group confirmed it will not be performing at next summer’s Homegrown Weekend, WCIV reported.

Hootie & the Blowfish have performed at the event — currently held in Volvo Car Stadium in Daniel Island, just outside of Charleston — for 16 consecutive years.

But this year will see the annual tradition suspended, following the announcement on the “Today” show, where Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld said they were getting back together for the Group Therapy tour and a new album.

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In this Nov. 16, 2018 photo, Dean Felber, from left, Darius Rucker, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan, of Hootie & the Blowfish, pose for a portrait at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The band is returning with a tour and album 25 years after “Cracked Rear View” launched the South Carolina-based rock band. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Invision/AP) Sean Rayford AP

Since Rucker announced the group was on hiatus in 2008, the Homegrown concerts have been “the band’s only recurring concerts,” Charleston City Paper reported.

While getting to see the band has been a treat for S.C. fans, the Homegrown event is more than a music session.

Money raised from the event, and from the band, has been used for charitable endeavors. Specifically for services and supplies to students in Charleston County schools, which receive “haircuts, dental exams, eye exams, backpacks, notebooks, and pencils,” WCBD reported.

The band’s spokesperson said the purpose of the Homegrown event “remains a priority for the band,” according to WCIV.

Although Hootie & the Blowfish won’t be performing in Charleston, the group will hit the stage in South Carolina for a concert. The last show scheduled for the summer tour, that also features Barenaked Ladies, is at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia on Sept. 13.

“There’s nothing like playing music live. For the first time in nearly 20 years we’ll be coming back to Columbia, South Carolina where it all began,” Bryan said, according to the group’s website.

Tickets for the Columbia concert will go on sale starting Friday and will be available through Ticketmaster.

Other performances in the Carolinas include Raleigh at Coastal Credit Union Music Park on May 31 and at Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion on Sept. 5.

The tour is something of a surprise.

Before playing in Atlanta for “one night only” last July, Rucker said not to expect a full-scale tour.

“You know, life’s going pretty good for everybody right now, so we’re not really dying to get back together and do a tour or anything like that. But, you know, someday,” Rucker said to abcnews.go.com in 2017.

Someday has been scheduled, with a 44-city tour.

The Hootie & the Blowfish album “Cracked Rear View” went platinum 16 times in the U.S., became the best-selling album of 1995, and was one of the fastest-selling debut albums of all time.

USC alumni Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan perform on the historic USC Horseshoe as part of a celebration of the opening of the new USC Journalism school.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.


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