Spring Festival Guide
Spring is here in the Carolinas, which means you’re likely either at your desk bursting to rush outside and enjoy the sunshine or huddled at your computer, pretending to work, but instead enjoying some tournament-style college hoops. While Shuffle appreciates the March Madness as much (or in my case, more) than the next guy, the warming weather means one thing to us above all others: Music festival season is here! Below, you’ll find a guide to the festivals in the Carolinas we’re excited about this spring. Check it out, then get out there and relish in the sun and the jams. The basketball can wait — or you can always just watch it on your phone. —Jordan Lawrence
Mar. 22 to 25 – Greenville, N.C.
Where: The Tipsy Teapot, Live Bar, Art Venue, The Dickinson Loft Yard
Notable Acts: Lilac Shadows, Lonnie Walker, Royal Baths, GROGH, EAR PWR, Holy Ghost Tent Revival
The Deal: Fun, laid-back weekend of mostly N.C. bands to benefit The Tipsy Teapot, Greenville’s indie rock hot spot.
Tickets: 80 “golden wristbands” selling at a projected $25 a pop. More info coming soon.
Mar. 23 – Raleigh
Where: Tir na nOg, The Pour House, Kings, Lincoln Theatre
Notable Acts: The Avett Brothers, Tift Merritt, The Love Language, Birds of Avalon, Whatever Brains, Bombadil, Spider Bags
The Deal: A who’s who of Triangle and N.C. indie bands and as well as some national players gather for this pro bono mini-fest, benefiting Oliver Gant, a two-year-old recovering from cancer. The Avetts play Kings, a 250-capacity rock club — great if you get to see them, kinda crappy if you miss out.
Tickets: Sold out. Start hunting.
Mar. 24 – Duke University, Durham
Where: Duke Coffeehouse, Fredric Jameson Gallery
Notable Acts: Kurt Vile, Gunn-Truscinski Duo, Oneohtrix Point Never, Supreme Dicks, Royal Baths, Mark Kozelek, Hospitality
The Deal: This spring festival sponsored by Duke’s WXDU radio station is a music nerd’s delight, replete with strong indie rock headliners and avant-garde champions.
Tickets: $23, available at Duke Coffeehouse (every day 6pm-2am), the Duke box office (M-F 11am-6pm) and other select on-campus locations
April 4 to 7 – Winston-Salem
Where: Krankies, The Garage
Notable Acts: Hiss Golden Messenger, Naked Gods, Mutant League, Whatever Brains, Paint Fumes, Burglar Fucker, Estrangers, Free Electric State
The Deal: Winston independent music festival returns for year two bigger and better with a top-flight bill of N.C. talent heavy on the weirdo garage stuff.
Tickets: Four-day passes $35, $25 for students, Saturday passes $16, available here.
April 19 to 22 – Pittsboro, N.C.
Where: Shakori Hills
Notable Acts: BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Bombadil, Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes, Mad Tea, Diali Cissokho & Kairaba, Midtown Dickens, Holy Ghost Tent Revival
The Deal: Spring session of the semi-annual music fest + hippie gathering features a balanced mix of local indie bands and multicultural outfits from around the world.
Tickets: $20 to $100 depending on days attending and date of purchase — more info and tickets available here.
April 19 to 29 – Columbia
Where: Music at Five Points Pub and Drayton Hall Theatre at USC
Notable Acts: Olivia Tremor Control, Coma Cinema, DJ Quintron, Miss Pussycat, Those Lavender Whales, Morihiko & the SC Philharmonic
The Deal: Music offerings at this popular independent film festival include institutional Georgia indie rock band Olivia Tremor Control and an orchestra scoring silent films live.
Tickets: $300 festival passes, $130 film passes and $50 music passes available here.
April 26 to 29 – Wilkesboro, N.C.
Where: Wilkes Community College
Notable Acts: Doc Watson, Steep Canyon Rangers, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Punch Brothers
The Deal: Long-standing N.C. music festival offers up top-flight bluegrass and folk and lots of it.
Tickets: $40 to $250 depending on days attending and date of purchase, more info and tickets available here.
May 4 to 5 – Greer, S.C.
Where: The Skunkfarm
Notable Acts: Onward, Soldiers. The Black Lillies, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge
The Deal: Roots rock in backwoods of S.C., fitting combination.
Tickets: $22 to $60 depending on days attending and age, more info and tickets available here.
May 18 to 19 – Charlotte
Where: Snug Harbor, Lunchbox Records, Studio 1212, Common Market, Thomas St. Tavern, Thirsty Beaver
Notable Acts: Young and in the Way, Museum Mouth, Red Collar, Double Negative, Naked Gods, Old Painless, The band formerly known as Joint Damage
The Deal: Charlotte rock fest’s second year has enough punk, indie rock and oddball stuff in between to keep most any rock fan satiated.
Tickets: $25, available here.
June 29 to 30 – Durham
Where: Motorco Music Hall
Notable Acts: Red Collar, The Future Kings of Nowhere, more to be announced
The Deal: Local label celebrates with two-day rock fest that’s smattered with quality talent.
Tickets: $15, available here.