[image-1] Matt Monday has joined forces with the Royal American and Murias Entertainment to launch the inaugural Cultura Fest, a dynamic evening showcasing the best of Charleston hip-hop and R&B on Sat. April 20 at 5 p.m.

“I wanted to curate a festival full of artists who haven’t necessarily ever shared a stage together,” Monday says, “It’s a collage of all of the creative, young musicians here, a quality festival for fans and potential fans to come and enjoy for a whole evening.”

Are you ready for the lineup? Performers include Monday, Benny Starr, Niecy Blues, Contour, Shaniqua McCants, Anfernee, Jah Jr., Abstract That Rapper & Slim Soul, Nory, and DJ Scrib.

“I’ve had plans to do a festival for a year and a half now and have traveled around the country to other festivals to take notes on how it all works — it’s way more intricate than it seems on the surface,” Monday says. “The goal is to make it a small and intimate thing the first couple of years so it can build an organic following, and the Royal American’s parking lot was perfect for the size I wanted to start with.”

Monday says as Cultura Fest grows, they’ll continue to incorporate local artists while bringing outside acts in as well. “But I always want it to be based in Charleston music, or what I consider to be quality music out of Charleston.”

The festival idea began with Monday, who has performed on festival stages in the Royal American parking lot during at-capacity concerts, opening for SUSTO last year, plus performing at Summer Shindig, an annual fest that isn’t in the cards this year. The goal is for both festivals to return to the Royal lot next year.

“I think I can speak for us all when I say this [Cultura Fest] is something that’s badly needed here in Charleston, especially downtown, and I believe it will be wildly successful,” says the Royal American’s John Kenney. “We at The Royal American have seen tremendous support from the community for the events we have hosted with Ill Vibe The Tribe (six Art Binges) and the Cocktail Bandits (five Trappy Hours) — all of which include live, local hip-hop — and I feel like there is great momentum. Let’s build on that!”

Tickets are $20 a pop and can be purchased here beginning at 10 a.m. today.

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