The new SUMFest—a small-scale music festival that pairs an array of locals with outdoor-summer-concert-series headliners—won't shut down the city, but it might succeed in returning the variety show feeling to Raleigh for one more weekend. Using as many as eight venues for the four-day festival, SUMFest will funnel its proceeds through the Isaac Hunter Foundation to Hospice of Wake County and C.A.R.E. NC, two charities who care for human health in very different ways.
Speaking of very different ways, the talent for SUMFest is a strange grab bag, with nü metal and dub, psychedelic jams and alt-country racers, bluegrass and blues conspiring for an event that seems less curated than simply cobbled together. To that end, Sponge—the alt-rock Replacements lovers and denizens of used CD bins everywhere—will headline the fest on Friday with a set at The Pour House, while long-running Led Zeppelin cover band ZOSO will close it out at the Lincoln Theatre on Sunday. Maybe Steve Martin will sit in. —Grayson Currin