Seven springs in, Shakori Hills expands its ranks | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Seven springs in, Shakori Hills expands its ranks 

⇒ See also: 7 Shakoris to see; Interview with Samantha Crain

click to enlarge 04.15cultled_shakorilogo.jpg

Though often quite fun, outdoor music festivals can conjure a bricolage of unpleasant images: walkways bordered by piles of trash, their mix of paper and mud and food rotting in the open; lines stretching from port-a-johns, their soapy septic smell hanging in the air; kids peaking on weed and whatever, their minds baking in the midday sun. Covering about 90 wooded-or-green acres 15 miles northwest of Pittsboro in the caution-light community of Silk Hope, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival certainly has its share of all that: lines of water closets, barrels of waste, teenagers with pot. But in its seventh year, two qualities not associated with such festivals often enough—sustainability and community—continue to make Shakori Hills successful, despite a collapsing music industry hamstrung by a troubled economy.

"We're getting right to the point where we're covering our expenses, which was a very difficult point to get to," says Jordan Puryear with a nervous laugh. As the former bassist for the band Donna the Buffalo, Puryear started a festival much like Shakori Hills in upstate New York nearly 15 years ago. That festival carries on there, though Puryear came south early this decade to start a sister event. "We're firmly on the ground, which is really good. You have to pretty much present the festival, and then people have to come. Having to put the festival out there first with the facilities you have and letting the audience come to it ends up being a fundamentally expensive thing to do. But we've reached that basic goal."

Now, Puryear admits, the aim becomes moving beyond that break-even point, and they're working in the right direction. Two weeks before Thursday's opening ceremony, the festival had sold dozens more four-day passes than for any prior Shakori Hills event. The hope isn't to turn a profit, though, as the nonprofit corporation, Shakori Hills Inc., runs the festival and the land that it's currently leasing to own. Instead, Puryear has other earmarks for any extra income: to buy the land sooner, to build a dance pavilion, to power the festival with solar energy, to present more events for the community aside from its current biannual GrassRoots festivals and Hoppin' John Fiddler's Convention. In essence, he wants the festival and its land to be a good neighbor.

"As the festival grows, it's so well-rooted in this community," says Puryear, who's long booked the event with a rotation-of-crops approach, mixing young local talent with national touring favorites. "Just like any type of thing where everybody pitches in on something, it's a huge catalyst for community building."

Indeed, after scraping by for several years with just enough volunteers to run the festival, volunteer coordinator Michelle Wright says Shakori Hills' current militia of 700 volunteers is almost too much. People come from as far away as New York and Florida to donate their time in exchange for free festival admission, but most, says Wright, live near the festival grounds. They pick up trash, prepare food, direct traffic, and—every day—turn all that garbage lining all those walkways into compost.

Tickets for Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival start at $22 per day. A four-day adult pass costs $95. For information and a complete schedule, see www.shakorihills.org.

sq-shakorilogo.jpg

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Great list, but not much local hip-hop! I'd throw out Izz the Unknown, who's been making the rounds in Chapel …

by JUN1U5 on From Record Stores to Music Festivals and HB 2, Triangle Music Grappled with Growth This Year (Music Feature)

The Never. Haven't thought about them in ever. That song "The Astronaut" from their first record is a power pop …

by Geoff Dunkak on Makers’ Mark: Ten Triangle Records that Turned Ten This Year (Music Feature)

Pam I'm so glad you are back on the air. Thanks for being so very honest with your struggles in …

by Brenda Quick on The struggle: Through trial and travail, newscaster and singer Pam Saulsby enters a second act (Music Feature)

I've had nothing but positive experiences working with Slums, his music always seemed to me more club ready where raund …

by Daniel Stark on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

That entire conversation only circulated among the beat community and a few others who chimed in. Then, it was deleted. …

by Eric Tullis on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

Comments

Great list, but not much local hip-hop! I'd throw out Izz the Unknown, who's been making the rounds in Chapel …

by JUN1U5 on From Record Stores to Music Festivals and HB 2, Triangle Music Grappled with Growth This Year (Music Feature)

The Never. Haven't thought about them in ever. That song "The Astronaut" from their first record is a power pop …

by Geoff Dunkak on Makers’ Mark: Ten Triangle Records that Turned Ten This Year (Music Feature)

Most Read

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation