This past weekend, SobeSavvy.com was out and about in Downtown Raleigh for Hopscotch Music Festival. If you saw my recap from last year Hopscotch 2016, then you know this is a fun festival for music lovers that is not to be missed!
This year for #Hopscotch17, there were 120 Bands and Four Days of shows playing at the large outdoor main stages in Raleigh City Plaza, Red Hat Amphitheater, but also perfomances at The Basement inside the Raleigh Comvention Center plus day parties at the local clubs/bars. The festival features music for everyone in almost every genre: rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic and more! For me, that’s what makes Hopscotch unique because it’s not genre based and does not cater to one specific type of music. It appeals to those of us who believe music is universal and all are welcome to enjoy it in the city of Raleigh!
Downtown Raleigh and its many venues makes this the perfect place for this festival because once you park your car, you can literally just “hopscotch” all around downtown and take in the acts. We downloaded their fantastic interactive app that allows users to customize their own music festival acts they want to see.
I decided to share our highlights on Hopscotch 2017 based on the venues and the people, performances and festival fun we saw at each place. Take a look and I hope you are inspired to go next year!
Raleigh CONVENTION CENTER (Wristband City, The Basement, Official Merch, & Flatstock)
The Convention Center serves as the command center (in my opinion) for the festival. Here is where the festival fun begins after you pick up your wristbands from Wristband City (which allows you entry to see acts at all the venues). This is also the place where you can buy swag from the official Merch Market or even a cool piece of poster art from Flatstock. Hopscotch made great use of the convention center by creating a new venue space called ‘The Basement‘. An Exhibit Hall was transformed into a indoor club with a cool vibe complete with two full bars, a great sound system and plenty of dance space. Here is where we saw performances from Har Mar Superstar, Lee Fields and the Expressions and Kaytranada. Watch a video recap >>here<< of their performances and if you want to see more photos, check out my facebook album.
Just a couple of blocks over from the Convention Center at 400 Block Fayetteville was the City Plaza stage venue. They had all sorts of vendors/booths to buy and sample food and drinks. We had some great samples of IPA beer at the Goose Island Tent to get our party started!
On Friday, we saw Future Islands ,who hails from my hometown of Baltimore,Md. They are a synthpop band whose performance in 2014 on The Late Night Show w/David Letterman gave them national exposure and a expanded fan base. They rocked the plaza with their energy and passion!
Saturday we returned to City Plaza for Big Boi hailing from A-T-L Georgia! The now iconic group OutKast was the soundtrack of my younger years, so I was very excited to see one half of that dynamic duo. He was joined by producer Sleepy Brown, who is a great artist in his own right. He ran thru a medley of OutKast hits like “So Fresh and Clean”, “Rosa Parks” and “Ms. Jackson” to name a few. Big Boi has not lost a step since their heyday. He rocked the mic as the hip hop legend that he is. Many of us rapped along to every lyric and turned the City Plaza venue into one big outdoor hip hop party!
See video clips of the performances by Future Islands and Big Boi at City Plaza >>here.
LENOIR STREET PARTY
Hopscotch’s inaugural Lenoir Street Party was not only fun, but family-friendly. We went on Saturday for the Ice Cream Competition, which was held Saturday, September 9 from 1 – 5 p.m. at Gate 3 of Red Hat Amphitheater. The event was sponsored by the Carolina Hurricanes and their Homegrown Series which focuses on local artists, apparel designers, chefs, and musicians. The Winners were:
- Lumpy’s..won for Best Regular Ice Cream
- Mama Birds..won for Best Vegan
- Maple View ..won for Best Gluten Free! (I had some of their ‘Wolfpack Praline’ and it was soooooo good! Trophy worthy!
The Lenoir Street Party which ran all weekend, was also where Hopscotch ran their 2017 Food Drive. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle offered $5 off festival apparel and a chance to win 2018 VIP passes with a non-perishable food item donation. This food drive also featured a life-sized cartoon art installation and can sculpture by Paul Friedrich, all sponsored by Coastal Credit Union.
Beer & Wine, Spirits sampling booths were there but our daughter #outandaboutAva had the most fun traveling back in time to try 3 soda flavors of 1893 from the makers of Pepsi Cola and crafted in the Carolinas. We got some cool wooden like sunglasses and enjoyed some photo booth fun! Lots of interactive tents and food trucks made this a great way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.
RED HAT AMPHITHEATER
Red Hat Amphitheater is Raleigh’s premier outdoor concert venue and this is where headlining act Solange set the stage ablaze with her stellar performance! Solange had what I like to call the album of the summer. Entitled “A Seat At The Table”, this album features songs filled with affirmations of self love, positive messages and healing.
Her show combined what Hopscotch is all about: Music & Design . Her entire band and backup singers dressed in red gave us a what look and felt like a solar experience!
She sang a good portion of her Grammy award winning album and also a few of her classics from her earlier albums. “Cranes In the Sky and “Don’t Touch My Hair” were fan favs. Her self choreography was a combo of soul/funk moves with a dash of disco. It was almost retro in it’s feeling and felt totally authentic and free, as seen here in my Instagram video:
She took all in attendance on a ride and none of us wanted to get off.
See youtube video recap of Solange >>here << and thank you for reading. Bravo to Hopscotch Music Festival for another wonderful year!