Overalls. That’s the word that comes to mind with the description of Joy Kill Sorrow’s “acoustic, indie, folk” sound. However, at Charleston SCENE’s pre-party at the Halsey Institute for the Joy Kills Sorrows show, overalls were nowhere to be found. What was there, you ask? Well, some pretty fabulous people who were keeping it low-key, which seamlessly matched the picnic vibe that the party emitted.

Wearing everything from maxi dresses to printed shorts to sundresses, guests perused artwork by College of Charleston students and the Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto exhibit while chatting with one another. Partygoers sipped wine and beer while munching on chicken skewers, pimento cheese and bacon-topped crostinis, pigs in a blanket, and ham and brie. Talk soon turned to the show at hand, and it seemed that many were happy with the less fussy vibe of the night’s event.

This year’s Spoleto schedule has some heavy hitters (hello, Kepler and Mike Daisey), so guests seemed eager to spend the evening at the Cistern listening to what promised to be an understated and easygoing evening of good music. Spoleto’s Jessie Bagley was lucky enough to get a sneak peek during sound check and confirmed that the show would not be a let down.

And with only about half the partygoers actually planning to see the Joy Kills Sorrow show, guests revealed what other shows and parties had them excited. Jake Shimabukuro’s name may have tripped up some revelers, but his show was highly anticipated by many. Other hot ticket shows, according to party chatter: The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, Orchestra: Uncaged, and The Radio Show topped the list.

Spoleto may be known for the performances it brings to the Lowcountry, but falling a very close second would be the social gatherings that come along with the festival. Bryon Voyer, a new member of SCENE, says his highlight of the festival so far as been chatting with the CEO of America LaFrance while sipping on bourbon samples selected by the chief. Others like to play it by ear, like Chelsea Peabody, who is excited for the finale party but is waiting to see what other parties develop as the festival progresses. People also seem to be pumped for the Honaluau and White Party.

Around 7:45 p.m. a feeding frenzy — and drinking frenzy — took over the party. With the minutes flying by before people needed to meander over to the Cistern, guests wanted to take advantage of all the provisions before heading into the concert.