The Triangle Has More Music Festivals than Ever This September—Here's How to Make Sense of It All | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Triangle Has More Music Festivals than Ever This September—Here's How to Make Sense of It All 

click to enlarge Jenn Wasner, aka Flock of Dimes, at Red Hat Amphitheater during Hopscotch 2017

photo by Alex Boerner

Jenn Wasner, aka Flock of Dimes, at Red Hat Amphitheater during Hopscotch 2017

In most of the rest of the country, late spring and early summer make up prime music festival season. But this year, September is host to a slate of music festivals that make for a dizzying four weeks of entertainment in the Triangle. They cover just about every corner of music, from up-and-coming hip-hop stars of tomorrow to old folky favorites, and every budget, from free day-long festivities to high-dollar VIP packages. If you're not sure where to start—or need a refresher on everything that's going on—we've got you covered. Don't forget your comfortable shoes!


HOPSCOTCH
Sep. 6-8, $35–$299
Various venues, Downtown Raleigh

When it comes to current music festivals with "cool" cachet in the Triangle, it's likely that they wouldn't have happened without Hopscotch setting the foundation. Now in its ninth year, Hopscotch is a general-taste music festival geared toward those who are interested in independent music, but who may not be full-throttle obsessives. This year's headliners include funk forefather Nile Rodgers & Chic, Miguel, Grizzly Bear, and The Revolution, and the undercard is packed with acts covering indie rock and pop, plus some hip-hop, folk, and out-there electronic music. Hopscotch also boasts a generous complement of free daytime parties, which are perfect for discovering new bands or packing out your weekend with even more music. There's a little something for everybody here.


BRAZILIAN DAY
Sep. 15, Free
Durham Central Park, Durham

Caique Vidal, who leads Caique Vidal & Batuque as well as the percussion ensemble Batalá Durham, has spent his years in Durham flying the flag for his home country of Brazil. He's manifesting that love in festival form this year, with a day that celebrates Brazilian music and culture, with performances from Batalá Durham and others. Fullsteam even made a beer, the açai-infused Batalager, to add to the festivities.


DREAMVILLE
Sep. 15, $109–$449
Dorthea Dix Park, Raleigh

Hailing from the underdog city of Fayetteville, J. Cole has established himself as one of the most talented stars of contemporary hip-hop. In Raleigh, he's throwing a the day-long Dreamville fest as a way of celebrating his home state. As of press time, the festival's lineup still hasn't been announced, but Cole's coterie of associated acts on his Dreamville label includes Bas, Ari Lennox, and Earthgang. More than just a full day of fun, the proceeds from this festival benefit Cole's Dreamville Foundation, which supports underprivileged youth in Cole's hometown through school-supply giveaways, career fairs, and more.


GROOVE IN THE GARDEN
Sep. 22, $10–$65
Stephen Amphitheater and Rose Garden at Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh

There's a growing push to get nonbinary and female performers represented better on festival lineups, but that isn't a problem for this day-long throwdown at Raleigh Little Theatre. This bill is a smorgasbord of styles, from the raucous, rude punk of Pie Face Girls to the scorching, blues-tinged rock of Reese McHenry and Emily Musolino. Blue Cactus, Tres Chicas, Loamlands, and Lydia Loveless all offer varying strains of bold country and folk-rock. You can even pack your own picnic to enjoy in the grassy amphitheater (leave your alcohol at home, though).


click to enlarge Vocalist Tahraqa Patterson performs with the Revive Big Band in the Carolina Theater during the 2017 Art of Cool Festival - PHOTO BY ALEX BOERNER
  • Photo by Alex Boerner
  • Vocalist Tahraqa Patterson performs with the Revive Big Band in the Carolina Theater during the 2017 Art of Cool Festival

ART OF COOL
Sep. 28-29, $100–$321
Various venues, Downtown Durham

Though the Art of Cool Festival has taken over Durham once a year since 2014, the 2018 iteration is a year of firsts. Earlier this year, the festival announced that it had been sold to the Dome Group, a Detroit-based entertainment company, and would be moving to late September. The new ownership has helped secure big-ticket headliners like Erykah Badu, Maxwell, and Anthony Hamilton, and the festival will make use of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park as a venue for the first time. The festival hasn't lost sight of its jazz-focused mission, though, with acts like Sons of Kemet, Meshell N'Degeocello, and Keyon Herrald.


WIDE OPEN BLUEGRASS
Sep. 28-29, $50–$160
Various venues, Downtown Raleigh

Since 2013, the International Bluegrass Music Association has called Raleigh home for its annual business conference and attendant World of Bluegrass festival. At Red Hat Amphitheater, some of the biggest names in bluegrass take the stage: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Earls of Leicester, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and a special women-in-bluegrass spotlight set that features Alison Brown, Sierra Hull, Molly Tuttle, Rhiannon Giddens, and Gillian Welch. In addition to the ticketed events, the free street festival component features even more up-and-coming bluegrass pickers.


CARRBORO MUSIC FESTIVAL
Sep. 29-30, Free
Various venues, Carrboro

Few things feel as representative of Carrboro's "Feel Free" motto than the annual Carrboro Music Festival, a sprawling weekend of free music happening all over the small town. All told, it's about two hundred bands performing in twenty-nine venues, like the Weaver Street Market lawn, OpenEye Café, and street stages dotting downtown. A Friday night set from former Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachmann in the Cat's Cradle Back Room serves at the kickoff show.

You might also like...

CENTERFEST
Sep. 15-16, Free
Downtown Durham

This longrunning arts festival focuses on celebrating the skills and wares of local artists, with live performances by musicians and dancers as well as plenty of kid-friendly activities.


SPARKCON
Sep. 13-16, Free
Various venues, Downtown Raleigh

Music is just one piece of this wide-ranging festival for all things creative, which includes arts and crafts, circus performances, comedy, fashion, film, dance, and more.


FIESTA DEL PUEBLO
Sep. 23, Free
Fayetteville Street, Downtown Raleigh

This Latinx-focused arts and culture festival celebrates a quarter century in Raleigh this year with a full day of food, fun, and music, which includes a headlining performance from Plena Libre.

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

Comments

This is Omar, I think this is a pretty fair article. We continue to have success and support artist, some …

by Omar McCallop on Now in Their Tenth Year, What Do the Carolina Music Awards Actually Accomplish? (Music Feature)

I visited this house a couple years ago.. Looked like they were about to start renovations but I crept around …

by Pea Bauer on A reunited Blind Melon reminisces about its time in Durham (Music Feature)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

This is Omar, I think this is a pretty fair article. We continue to have success and support artist, some …

by Omar McCallop on Now in Their Tenth Year, What Do the Carolina Music Awards Actually Accomplish? (Music Feature)

I visited this house a couple years ago.. Looked like they were about to start renovations but I crept around …

by Pea Bauer on A reunited Blind Melon reminisces about its time in Durham (Music Feature)

Meh, Check out billy strings. Not only a good songwriter, but an extremely talented musician. Not from NC though …

by Timothy Oswald on Restless Musician Ryan Gustafson Embraces Being a Folk-Rock Gem on Unsung Passage (Music Feature)

The song is love for everyone. There is more love to die for younger. Play store is a good resource …

by Sabhana Chaudhary on Restless Musician Ryan Gustafson Embraces Being a Folk-Rock Gem on Unsung Passage (Music Feature)

Autumn and Melissa, you cavewomen, you :-) Thanks for keeping the fire alive in the depths of the night. I …

by Ruy Burgos-Lovece on The Cave Is Coming Back to Life. What Do Its New Owners Have Planned for its Next Chapter? (Music Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation