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Sometimes, you just gotta follow your gut. On a whim, Morgan Allen applied to join the euphoria team in 2016, having never visited the area. “I was living and working in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands,” the hospitality industry leader shares. “My husband’s job brought us to the region. I’m so grateful they took a shot on someone who knew nothing about Greenville, or the festival! At first, there was a huge learning curve and the festival was only three months away.”

Let’s just say Allen’s a quick study. Although hired as the event director for food and beverage, within two years, she was promoted to executive director. Her broad vision and pinpoint planning have helped euphoria pivot across the COVID years, and despite limitations, the nonprofit was able to give more money than ever before, to local service groups in 2021. “We have evolved so much over the last few years,” she reveals. “We are more connected to the community than ever before. We’re not just a food, wine and music festival. There are so many more layers to us.”

This spring, USA Today named Allen one of its “Women of the Year” for utilizing Cares Act money to distribute 150,000 meals across two months at the height of the pandemic through euphoria and Connect for Good GVL. “We hit our mission even harder,” Allen recalls. “Typically, we’re so focused on the event, but you want to make sure we know what our mission is about.” Earlier this year, euphoria also received the Governor’s Cup Award, South Carolina’s highest honor in the tourism industry, for its significant impact on Greenville, including quality of life. (The latest study shows the festival contributes $3.8 million to the local economy.)

So, what do you do coming off a record-breaking year? Shoot for another. “This year, we’re really focused on the diversity of cuisine,” Allen says. “This is the first full schedule of events since 2019, and the caliber of chefs coming in and the diversity of food and beverage and music is unparalleled.” More Michelin-starred chefs fill the itinerary than any other festival in the Southeast, and many events are already sold out. “Euphoria offers something for everyone,” explains the executive director. “If you’re not a foodie, some of the chefs coming in make the best fried chicken I’ve had in my life. We are all-inclusive. Even if you don’t drink, we have mocktails. You don’t have to be a foodie.”

At night, Allen returns home to her husband and young daughter. She thinks about when she first started in the industry as a child in Georgia, where she spent summers selling hot dogs and Cokes during a golf tournament. “That’s when I fell in love with hospitality,” she reveals. “I just love being around people. And we absolutely love Greenville. I can’t imagine being anywhere else in the world.”

Euphoria is set for Sept. 15-18. For the full itinerary and tickets, visit

Tally up euphoria 2022

50+ events during euphoria weekend (67 throughout the year)

3 pre-festival signature events

4 Michelin-starred dinners

8 Michelin-starred chefs

13 guest chef dinners

8 Lunch & Learns

20 euphoria classrooms

5 signature events

5 VIP-exclusive events & lounges

1 songwriters’ recipe series

200+ volunteers

175+ chefs, independent restaurants, small businesses, beverage partners, musicians & regional farms

2021 Grant Recipients

A Child’s Haven

Greenville Tech Foundation

Meyer Center

Mill Village Farms