Earlier this week, I was asked in an interview what my favorite music festival is. I didn't even have to think:
Hopscotch Festival, now on it's fifth year, in Raleigh, NC.
|Estrangers (Phuzz Records)|
The appeal of Hopscotch for me is the balance of established acts with experimental performances and up-and-coming artists. For every popular festival headliner like St. Vincent or Spoon, there is a "when am I ever going to get the chance to see this?" moment, like seeing IIII performing as a 16 piece ensemble, watching Tony Conrad in a church, or a family-friendly city square metal show featuring Death and Mastodon. A casual afternoon bloody mary watching harpist Mary Lattimore collaborate with Thurston Moore almost feels normal at a festival this full of discovery, experimentation, and camaraderie. There is a feeling in the air that the artists are enjoying themselves as much as the festival goers, an indicator of just how much careful thought goes into this festival.
|Sam from Celestial Shore + Adam from Hometapes|
|This woman has influenced me more than I can put into words: Sara from Hometapes|
- T0W3RS (triumphant performance with aerialists and acrobats)
- Power Trip (shout out to the dude who tried to get a pit started barefoot)
- Soft Spot (if you appreciate Kate Bush, you will love this band. Bonus points for percussion from Blaze of Bambara.)
- Landlady (the closest thing I can compare their intelligent pop to is Nilsson, but Landlady exists in a space and time of their own.)
- Lonnie Walker (the upcoming record is a doozy. Some of these songs hold years of nostalgia for me and feel like having late-night porch beers with an old friend.)
- White Laces opening for War On Drugs (I'm putting out White Laces' tape this fall. Grab a sneak peek here or here.)
- The Tills (rowdy garage rock perfection)
You're funny, downtown Raleigh.
When you're not from North Carolina, fancy tokens to identify you as a lifetime member of Fox Liquor Bar are extra exciting
|III at Fletcher Opera House|
Purse, camera bag, and laptop bag. Guess which is which.
|Jamie XX at Cam Raleigh. Photo via She Turns the Tables|
I haven't missed a Hopscotch yet, and hope I never do.