Highlights from @HopscotchFest #Hopscotch17 #VisitRaleigh |A #soNCsavvy Recap by SobeSavvy.com

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!

Official Guide 2017 Hopscotch Music Festival           

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!

Hopscotch Festival partners with Visit Raleigh to put on an amazing 4 Day Music Festival   

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. 

Sort by venue or performer ,open up a calendar and set reminders for who, what, where,when to go see your fave artists on the HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL App

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) 

#Hopscotch17 | Inside the Convention Center

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

#Hopscotch17 | Friday Night in ‘The Basement’

CITY PLAZA

#Hopscotch17 Snapchat Filter + City Plaza

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!

#Hopscotch17 | Beer Sampling at City Plaza

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! 

#Hopscotch17 | Future Islands at City Plaza

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!  

#Hopscotch17 | Big Boi, along with Sleepy Brown, performs

See video clips of the performances by Future Islands and Big Boi at City Plaza >>here.

LENOIR STREET PARTY

#Hopscotch17 | Ice Cream Competition + Food Drive + 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!

#Hopscotch17 Ice Cream Competition

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.

#Hopscotch17 Food Drive

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.

#Hopscotch17 | #1893PepsiCola Photo Booth Fun with #outandaboutAva + her Nana + her Dad

RED HAT AMPHITHEATER

#Hopscotch17 Venue 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.

#Hopscotch17 Snapchat Filter + Solange

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!

#Hopscotch17 Solange and her band

#Hopscotch17 Solange gives Raleigh a Solar Eclipse

#Hopscotch17 | Solange sings her hit ‘Cranes in the Sky’

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:

Definition of Art : Solange @hopscotchfest #Hopscotch17 #hopscotchfest

A post shared by Lifestyle|Food|Travel|Fun BLOG (@sobesavvy) on

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!

Opening Night Review|HATS OFF to ‘CROWNS’👒 ! Now playing @RLT1936 thru 9/10 in #Raleigh ~Get Tix NOW!

In 1998, North Carolina photographer Michael Cunningham began taking
pictures of women in their hats. His friend, journalist Craig Marberry, thought they should put together a book of the photos and the stories behind them. Marberry was curious why so many African-American women wear flamboyant
hats to church. Their curiosity led to the publication of the now iconic book (which I received as a Christmas gift in 2003 from my in-laws) entitled “Crowns”. They have the picture of 50 African American Women wearing their hats, or Crowns to church. They has a profile of each women to go with the back story behind their hats.

This book ‘CROWNS’ was made into an off broadway play and has had many adaptations nationwide on stage throughout the years that have followed.

Fast forward to 2017, the Raleigh Little Theatre had their premier opening of the musical “Crowns”, now playing from Aug 25 to Sept. 10 . It’s story is about culture, history, tradition, women and their “hattitudes” ! You’ll laugh, you’ll reflect and you may even sing-along to the gospel music performed in the show. Musical Director, Carolyn Colquitt said “This story is telling why women wore the hats and what they represented.” 

More than a few women {including myself} wore their “Crowns” for the Opening Night at Raleigh Little Theatre

The play, directed by Terra Hodge, created six composite characters. Their stories are
told over the course of a Sunday. The audience sees these various women get ready for church, attend a morning service, a wedding, a funeral and a baptism. 

Photos by Brenna Lila Jane Berry-Stewart                    

  • (Top Left) India Williams as Mabel
  • (Center Left) Chanda Branch as Velma
  • (Bottom Left) Lynnette Barber as Mother Shaw
  • (Right) Lynnette Barber as Mother Shaw, Chelsey Moore (kneeling) as Yolanda, LaToya Smith as Jeanette

Five older women are joined by the grandaughter of one of them — a younger woman, 17 year old Yolanda from Brooklyn. The young woman (played brilliantly by Chelsey Moore) is a pivotal character and is changed by this experience of finding out about these women, through their hats. The audience is reminded that we’re still kings and queens with “crowns” that as James Baldwin said …”were already bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear them.” 

Leslie Heigh, Founder of SobeSavvy.com , wears her hat/crown to see “CROWNS”

One of my favorite parts of the show was the music, which had the sold out audience clapping and sometimes stomping their
feet. It was truly a shared experience no matter your age, race, gender or religion. I think everyone felt the uplifting spirit of the play and got the message from the monologues, as well as the lyrics of the songs. BRAVO to all the actors on stage, who were locals who auditioned right here for the chance to show their talent for the entire Triangle to witness!  

Crowns Contest Winners (left to right) Evenlyn Castleberry and Brenda Sanders pose by the winning entries

SobeSavvy Tip:  Arrive early to see the exhibition on display of the CROWNS contest winners. Six women were chosen to be photographed wearing their ‘Crowns’ based on their shared stories of what wearing a hat means to them.

CROWNS Contest Winners Photo Exhibition | Photo Credit: Raleigh Little Theatre, Arts Now

Tickets are available >>>> here. Some shows are already sold out, so don’t wait! On Aug 27 a panel discussion, sponsored by North Carolina State’s African American Cultural Center, will be held after the show to discuss the history behind the hats worn by black women. The talk will be led by Moses T. Alexander.

Raleigh Little Theatre was the perfect intimate atmosphere to experience such a soulful stage presentation

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE             301 Pogue St

Raleigh, NC 27607 

Tickets 919.821.3111

Raleighlittletheatre.org

Go see this amazing musical “CROWNS ” by Regina Taylor~ Adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry~Directed by Terra Hodge 

Opening Night “CROWNS” at Raleigh Little Theatre ~As Seen on the Scene, by SobeSavvy.com

Be sure to follow Raleigh Little Theatre on social media to stay informed of the 2017/2018 season: 

Twitter: @RLT1936

Facebook: Raleigh Little Theatre

Instagram: raleigh_little_theatre

Looking for a daily #HappyHour in #Raleigh ? Try @BoneFishGrill #BoneFishHH Cocktails🍹+Bar Bites🍴

Disclaimer: Thanks to Bonefish Grill in Raleigh North Hills for hosting me, along with fellow Raleigh/Durham bloggers for my #SobeSavvyEats series. Complimentary bar bites + cocktails were provided for our #SundayFunday meetup, however my opinion for this review is 100% my own.

#SobeSavvyEats Event~ ‘Bloggers & Bar Bites’ Happy Hour ~BoneFish Grill Raleigh, NC

Yesterday was a ‘Sunday Funday’ I will never forget thanks to seven blogger baes and one of my favorite restaurants! After a long year of studying, I wanted to celebrate the passing of my CPC exam with some fellow foodie friends, who are also NC Bloggers/Influencers. After hearing about the New Hand-Crafted Happy Hour menu at Bonefish Grill, I knew that would be the perfect place to meetup! 

A high top table for our large group was reserved in the bar area (which is generally first come, first served seating). After being greeted by staff, it was time to put in our drink order. 


COCKTAILS | Tonight we had two options to try:  Fresh Watermelon Martini or..

.. Sparkling Blue Hawaiian Martini 

Both of these cocktails were refreshing, made with fresh ingredients and beautiful to the eye. Not only did they look good but it was love at first sip for me! If you are looking for eternal summer in a glass, these are the cocktails to choose. 

BAR BITES | The menu consisted of these six $6 items ranging from seafood to beef.

Everyone enjoyed the variety of options on the bar bites menu and I discovered some personal faves that I can’t wait to eat again! Take a look at what BoneFish Grill is offering up during Happy Hour, daily from 4pm-6:30pm:

Crispy Cod Sliders

~  Fresh Alaskan Cod served on 2 potato buns with lettuce, tomato and a signature sauce. This is no McDonald’s fish filet. It’s a healthier, tastier option for fish sandwich lovers.

Wagyu Beef Sliders  

~  Want some meat instead? Order the beef sliders! You can’t go wrong with these because its made from Wagyu Beef which makes for 2 juicy mini burgers.

Crispy Au Gratin Bites

~  Every good bar menu requires something starchy right?! Get your carb fix with these cheesy potato bites. Those who do not eat bacon did not try them but those of us who did really liked the crispy au gratin bites, which comes with 2 sauces for your dipping pleasure.

Ahi Tuna Poke 

~  We had a self-proclaimed ‘poke snob’ amongst us, as well as someone who never tried raw tuna before who gave this dish a thumbs up! This dish paired with the Sparkling Blue Hawaiian drink will transport your tastebuds to a beach in Hawaii. This was one of my favorites.

Calamari 

~  I liked the asian twist on this classic dish. Instead of marinara or cocktail sauce, you get a sweet/spicy sauce on the side. Not too greasy and flash fried with peppers and asian noodles, this is a great dish to share with other calamari fans.

Prince Edward Island Mussels Josephine 

~  Although this is a nice sharing portion, this is one bar bite I did not want to share! Simply because I love mussels and these were my favorite out of everything we tried. You are going to want some of BoneFish Grill’s bread to dip in the flavorful broth and enjoy…by yourself!

SOBESAVVY TIP: Today only, All Day enjoy $5 Martini Mondays

I am happy to advise I will be back for the Hand-Crafted Happy Hour ! The all-new menu items and hand-crafted cocktails are something you are going to want to enjoy with family, friends, co-workers, loved ones or even by yourself (if you don’t want to share the mussels like me~lol). It starts daily at 4p.m. and end times vary by location. Please check your location page for location-specific Happy Hour offerings and times. Prices, product availability, participation and hours may vary by location.
Again, Cheers to everyone who joined me for a #SobeSavvyEats Sunday Funday and special thanks to BoneFish Grill ! The new Hand-crafted Happy Hour is not to be missed!

Also, check out my fun video recap on YouTube : https://youtu.be/LNHMfyr6sT8

Bonefish Grill 
4421 Six Forks Rd

Raleigh, NC 27609

4 Reasons Why You Don’t Wanna Miss the Grand Opening @41HundredLounge on 7/25 @RenRaleigh

Raleigh..and the surrounding Triangle,have you heard?! A new, multi-level bar is celebrating it’s grand opening tomorrow and let me tell you: YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT ! Step inside and experience the new 41Hundred Restaurant & Lounge!

I had the chance to enjoy a media lunch and a sneak peak tour of the beautiful 41Hundred, located at 4100 Main St. at North Hills inside the renovated Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. We got to meet excutive Chef Dean Thompson and tried some of his crafted sharable plates described as “simple sophisticated, international cuisine”. During the tour (see some of my photos here), he encouraged us all to tell everyone to come out to the grand opening celebration! Here are 4 Reasons Why:

  1. THE AMBIANCE The new 41Hundred and 41Hundred Lounge has a lobby level and upstairs. I would describe both areas as having a casual ambiance and suitable for hotel guests, North Hill visitors and locals. They wanted to create an uncomplicated space that brings the outdoors inside and I believe they suceeded!
  2. THE FULL BARThis is a stylish bar area I would bring anyone to who enjoys good libations. Step to the bar, order beer, wine, a cocktail or drop by for their house-aged whiskey. Come watch a game on any of their number of flat screen tvs or plug in to any of their usb outlets. And ladies whether you are there to work or werk, there are purse hooks by the bar. I love that kind of attention to detail, don’t you?!
  3. THE FOODThe food we got to sample was from the sharable plates menu.  They offer unique dishes like oxtail poutine and took my taste buds on a journey to Korea with their Korean BBQ wings (pictured above) and my fave dish tuna poke had me on the beaches of Hawaii!And if you just want to satisfy your sweet tooth try the Chef’s Hot Cheesecake or the locally made ice cream exclusively sold there. Come get a taste of shareable plates, you won’t want to share! 


  4. IT’S FREE !

As per the flyer, come out and enjoy complimentary bites from the 41 hundred menu and drink samples from Topo Distillery, Bombshell Beet Company & Aviator Brewing Company. 

I plan to be there to support and celebrate! Be sure to follow @SobeSavvy Twitter/IG/Facebook for event highlights. Come out and see why this is not your average hotel bar for yourself. Hope to see you there !

Photo Recap: Opening Night 2016 #NCChineseLanternFestival @BoothAmp #KokaBooth 

Get Ready, Get Set and Go…………….. make plans to see the NC Chinese Lantern Festival this holiday season! SobeSavvy.com was there along with many more for the kick off of opening night on November 28 at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. Now thru January 15, 2017, join thousands of people to see a magnificent display of art and culture.

WHAT: The Festival displays hundreds of larger-than-life lanterns all aglow with thousands of LED lights, creating a mesmerizing feast for the eyes that takes about an hour to walk thru!

WHEN: November 25, 2016 – January 15, 2017, Tuesdays – Sundays: 6pm – 10pm

WHERE:  Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC  *Parking will be free of charge in venue owned lots.

WHO: Fun for the whole family!          Kids 2 and under free                                Buy Tix HERE

Ages 3 – 17 – $10 , Adults ages 18+ – $15

Groups: Contact Jessica at 919-459-8319 orjlevasseur@rprk.com for groups of 20 or more

WHY: Why not?!  It is truly something that must be seen to believe. The Koka Booth Amphitheatre is turned into a mythical magical place with a two story pagoda entrance into this colorful world of lanterns.This bright lights festival features dozens and dozens of hand made silk animals, people and yes, even a ginormous dragon on Symphony Lake lit displays for all to look at in awe. The panda bear display is one of my little
ones favorites. A pair of Pandas were even on a see-saw playing!

This year the festival has added cultural performances that grace the main stage at planned intervals.  Last years festival drew 52,000 people,so count on big crowds and big fun. They have some food booths and food trucks available if you get hungry. See why this great display of Chinese artistry should be a part of your family tradition every holiday season in the Triangle. Check out this cool video sneak peak:

Here are some photos from opening night: 

More photos can be seen here on SobeSavvy.com ‘s Facebook page. Also on social media, follow #ncchineselanternfestival to see pictures shared by visitors who attended this wonderful event! 

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#Raleigh ,Celebrate the Holidays @NCSymphony ~A Kids’ Christmas Review & pre-Black Friday Sale

Thanksgiving is the beginining of the holiday season, so what better way to kick it off then by joining the North Carolina Symphony ! 

Today #outandaboutAva and I joined other kids and their familes for A Kid’s Christmas… a one-hour singing and dancing celebration held at the beautiful Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. Although the show started at 3pm , guests were encouraged to arrive early to meet the Snow Princesses and Santa! We also paid a visit to the popular Instrument Zoo located in the lobby and got a chance to try out orchestral instruments. Check it out..

A Kids’ Christmas featured music we all could enjoy from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frozen, The Polar Express and so much more ! It was so cute to see kids dressed in their jammies and/or their favorite Frozen character while singing along. The Triangle Youth Ballet was there to perform as well as the Raleigh Boy Choir, making this a very special event! Bravo to conductor David Glover and the NC Symphony as well for their wonderful performance. 

If you are looking for something to do this weekend with your family, join your North Carolina Symphony for Thanksgiving Holiday Pops Weekend, where Santa will also be in the libby before the concert.

 Savvy Tip: Now until 11:59pm tonight , save 50% on Holiday Concerts using Promo Code: PBF17 ..stay tuned for more discounts on Black Friday & Cyber Monday ! Purchase tickets here

In the true giving spirit of the holidays, NC Symphony is also collecting “Soup-to-Go” to help feed 1000 local kids at risk of hunger in the Triangle during any of the performances at Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall. You can also take your donation in person to the North Carolina Symphony State Headquarters. For more information , call 919.733.2750

Here are some pictures from today’s special event. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving !